Ten Mile Point residents are being asked to keep tabs on a young deer with what appears to be a plastic plant pot stuck around its neck.
The deer, sometimes accompanied by its mother, has been spotted around the area for about three weeks. Some residents initially thought the black bands around the animal’s neck were part of a radio collar.
The plastic is getting tighter as the fawn grows, but, for now, the animal is still able to eat. That’s a problem, because while it is alert and healthy, it will be difficult to track and tranquilize, Conservation Officer Scott Norris said.
“We probably won’t jump into it right away, because when it’s mobile, it’s pretty difficult to tranquilize and remove [the pot],” he said.
“I hope we can catch up with it and cut [the plastic] off at some point.”
Anyone seeing the deer is asked to call 1-877-952-7277 if the animal appears to be in distress or slowing down, Norris said.
If the deer is injured, it is young enough that it could be taken to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin for treatment. Wild ARC, operated by the B.C. SPCA, does not take adult deer because they panic when confined to pens and will hurt themselves.
Photographs of the deer were taken last weekend near Phyllis Park in Wedgewood Point by resident Michael Yu, who wanted to get help for the deer.
“I saw it again yesterday around 6.10 p.m. at the west side of Wedgewood Estates,” Yu said. “What is going to happen when the deer grows up and it has that round its neck?”
Yu said he enjoys seeing deer in the area and does not want the fawn to suffer.
“I love the deer. They come along the street, the whole family, and have a nap. So cute,” he said.
Jordan Reichert of B.C. Deer Protection Coalition said deer face numerous hazards in the capital region.
“We get a lot of people distressed about injured deer, such as deer hit by cars or a bow and arrow,” said Reichert, whose group is lobbying for a province-wide ban on bowhunting after animals were recently found to have spent weeks suffering from severe injuries.
If the animal is injured or is being harassed, police or a conservation officer should be called, Reichert said.
If it is not injured “we usually encourage people to leave it alone,” he said.
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