WildSafeBC is continuing to bring awareness to fawning deer after an increase in deer aggression in both Kimberley and Cranbrook over the last few weeks.
Community Coordinator for WildSafeBC Kimberley/Cranbrook, Danica Roussy says deer are normally timid animals, but if they become habituated to humans they can become a danger, especially when protecting their young.
If you find a fawn, it should be left alone, says Roussy.
“A doe will often leave her fawn(s) alone for hours at a time while she feeds, returning throughout the day to nurse,” she said. “Scentless and silent, fawns may appear to be orphaned and helpless, but the best thing you can do for a fawn is to leave it alone. As soon as you remove that fawn from the bedding area, you are greatly decreasing its chance of survival.”
She adds to stay on marked trails to reduce your chance of stumbling across a hidden fawn, and if you do come across one, be cautious as you may have come between a mother and her baby.
If you are approached by an aggressive deer, here are some tips from WildSafeBC for you to consider:
1. Never approach a deer, especially if it has young with it.
2. Deer may signal an impending attack by laying their ears back and lowering their head.
3. If a deer does attack you – try to stay upright as they inflict injury by striking at their opponent with their sharp hooves. Cover your head with your arms and back off to some form of shelter.
4. Please keep your dog on a leash when walking in city limits. If a deer does come towards you – let go of the leash – the dog can get away faster that way.
Deer are herbivores and have many natural predators. As such, they have developed keen senses to ensure their survival. A deer’s hearing is acute and their ability to articulate their ears allows them to pinpoint the sounds of any approaching predator. A dog looks like a predator to them; as in the wild canines will predate on deer.
If you observe an aggressive deer, abandoned fawn, or other young animal that appears to have been left alone for an extended period of time, contact the B.C. Conservation Officer Service through the Report All Poachers Polluter (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277. Residents can also report wildlife conflict other than bear, cougar, coyote, or wolf online at WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at www.wildsafebc.com/warp. This program allows you to see what wildlife has been reported in your neighbourhood and be alerted of new sightings.