March 31, 2016

Each and Every Report Important To Determining Future Population Management, City Says

Cranbrook, BC (March 31, 2016) – Any incidents involving acts of deer aggression in the City of Cranbrook should be reported.  Both City staff and the provincial Conservation Officer Service keep close tabs on these reports of aggressive deer behaviour in order for Mayor and Council to make any future decisions around urban deer management. 

“These reports of aggression are crucial to helping staff determine where clover traps should be placed in any future deer management program the City undertakes,” says Chris Zettel, Corporate Communications Officer for the City of Cranbrook. “The reality is if the incident isn’t reported the incident didn’t occur.”

Deer living in town are habituated to the presence of people and have lost their natural wariness of humans.  Although the deer look cute and harmless, they can and have been aggressive – especially toward people and dogs.  The higher than normal deer population level has led to the sighting and reports of cougars, coyotes and the occasional wolf in the municipality over the past 5 years.

“I continue to hear anecdotal stories of encounters people have with aggressive deer but didn’t bother to report for any number of reasons,” Zettel says.  “Lots of people told me they didn’t want to be a bother.  Many tell me complaining would not make any difference.  I’m here to tell you that reporting an incident no matter how frequently it occurs is not a bother and your complaint is important.”

To report an incident to the Conservation Officer Service, please call 1-877-952-7277.  To report an incident to the City of Cranbrook, please call 250-426-4211 or email urbandeer@cranbrook.ca.

“Although residents may also report deer damage to gardens and shrubs, it is important to know that those reports do not play a factor in decisions around deer management,” adds Zettel.

Late May through June is historically the time of year does give birth to their fawns.  Does will drive away their offspring from the previous year and look for a secluded place to give birth.  Deer have one or two fawns per year and triplets do occur once in a while.  The white-spotted fawn relies on its colouration, lack of scent and silence for protection.  It is quite common for does to leave fawns hidden while they forage in the area, returning occasionally to nurse.  If you come across a fawn, it is best to leave it alone.

It is also important for residents to remember that does with fawns are very wary of their surroundings and can act or react aggressively if they feel threatened.  Give the deer plenty of space to either move or leave the area.    Do not walk closer to the deer, choose another route.   Be sure to walk your dog on a leash and be ready to let go of the leash if a deer attacks.

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