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Conservation officer asks for mindfulness toward deer

Deer signal aggressive behaviour by laying their ears back and lowering their head
A mother deer cleans her fawn’s coat with her tongue while walking through a 100 Mile House neighbourhood. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

BC conservation officers are reminding the public to be cautious around wild animals, such as deer.

“Residents in the South Cariboo always have to be mindful of wildlife as we live in the country and have lots of wildlife around us,” said Joel Kline, a conservation officer in the Fraser River zone.

Deer are commonly seen in communities in the South Cariboo, such as 108 Mile Ranch. Kline said deer usually have a reason for showing aggressive behaviour toward humans, like defending their young or feeling cornered.

However, to mitigate the risk of coming into contact with an aggressive deer, Kline had some advice for residents.

“Don’t approach deer, especially if they have young with them,” he said. If does and fawns are observed, avoid those areas.

This is especially pertinent when walking a dog. Kline said to keep dogs on leashes if they’re in an area where does and fawns frequent, particularly during the months of June and July.

Kline said not to feed deer. “They will potentially become habituated to humans and then food conditioned, which could be a danger to the public.”

He said that deer may signal aggressive behaviour by laying their ears back and lowering their heads.

“If a deer becomes aggressive to the point of attacking a human, try to stay upright and get to shelter; deer try to attack by striking at their opponent with their hooves,” Kline said.

If you see deer acting aggressively toward people, call the RAPP line, 1-877-952-7277, to report the incident.

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