Vernon and North Okanagan
Friendly deer destroyed
Sep 11, 2013 / 11:24 am
As wildlife officials predicted, things did not end well for Coldstream's affectionate mule deer.
Ministry of Environment Public Affairs Officer, Stuart Bertrand, confirmed Wednesday morning that the deer was "humanely euthanized by the Conservation Officer Service."
Following several human-wildlife encounters involving the young buck last week, the provincial conservation service, with assistance from the wildlife service and a wildlife veterinarian, went in search of the problem deer in order to assess the situation.
Barb Leslie, who is the inspector in charge of conservation officer operations for the region, says that their number one priority is public safety.
Last week, Leslie said the conservation service was looking at whether the animal could be tranquillization and relocated.
"There is always risk associated tranquillizing or euthanizing in a public place. We're going to assess the situation with the guidance of the veterinarian," she said.
On Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Environment released a statement saying the deer was hand-raised and very habituated to humans, which made it a high risk for unpredictable behaviour.
Officials say the deer’s behaviour was escalating due to the arrival of the breeding season and relocation of the deer was not a viable option.
"This is a perfect example of why people should not feed wildlife," said Leslie.
The Ministry of Environment cautions the public not to approach or feed wildlife. When wildlife become habituated to people and/or conditioned to feeding on human food sources they eventually become a risk to public safety and property.
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