September 11, 2013 - 11:29 AM
VERNON - Wildlife officials saw it coming. The "friendly deer" caught on camera nuzzling people, playing with swing-sets, and receiving hugs has met an unfortunate end.
Conservation officers were left with no other option than to kill the young buck.
"It's definitely a sad situation, but a human created one," WildSafe B.C. coordinator Marnie Cuthill says.
Cuthill has been cautioning people to leave the deer alone since his debut in a youtube video last month, where he is seen rubbing his head against a suntanning teenager. She predicted a bitter end for the friendly buck, and she was right.
"The decision was taken out of local hands, as I understand it, and made in Victoria," Cuthill says.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Environment confirmed as much in an email.
"In consultation with the provincial wildlife veterinarian and in the interest of public safety, the deer was humanely euthanized by the Conservation Officer Service," Stuart Bertrand said. "The deer was hand-raised and very habituated to humans, which made it a high risk for unpredictable behaviour."
He said the deer's behaviour was escalating due to the arrival of the breeding season and that relocation was not a "viable option".
Wildlife officials hope this can be a lesson that wildlife is, and needs to stay, wild. Don't approach wildlife, and be conscientious with garbage and other attractants. While it might make a good picture, it is not advisable to touch or feed wildlife.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013