A Vancouver Island MLA and his dog are recovering after being gored by an angry deer in their yard last week.
Adam Walker said he returned home on Sept. 7 to find his yellow lab Pluto lying on the gravel with an antlered buck on top of him. It was a “once in a million” scenario, he told Global News on Tuesday.
“The buck was just full of adrenaline. It wasn’t in a normal state of mind,” he described. “I jumped in there and sort of grabbed it by the rack and pulled it up so my dog could get out.”
Walker said he tried to release the animal a number of times, but it kept coming back. He was gored in the leg, while his dog suffered a number of open wounds to his stomach.
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Walker said his neighbour came to the rescue, hopping into his car and backing it up as Walker continued to hang on to the 200-pound animal by the antlers. She nudged the buck with the car until it stumbled in a ditch and ran away, he said.
Before the deer attacked his dog, Walker said he had seen it on the side of a road and helped free it from a tree it had become entangled in. It later found its way into his yard shortly afterward.
Chris Miller, a B.C. conservation officer, went to Walker’s house but couldn’t find the buck in the area. Miller said it’s likely the deer had been stuck in the tree all night and was “very worked up.”
“At this time of year, when they’re just going into the rut, deer — especially bucks — can be a little more aggressive than usual. When you have urban deer … they already have less fear of us than a typical wild deer would have,” he explained.
“That could have been the fourth, fifth time in the last couple of days that a dog had come into contact with this deer and this was the last straw. We just don’t know.”
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Miller advised anyone who sees a deer in need of rescuing to call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service rather than attempt it themselves.
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Lisa Lopez, program manager for WildSafeBC, said seasonal change has an effect on how animals behave.
It’s fruit season, and after months of drought, she said, deer in particular may be roaming further in search of food — although fruit is not a natural source of food for them.
“What you can do is try to manage those attractants,” Lopez said. That includes bird feeders and picking any fallen fruit off the ground in yards, she added.
“Keep pet food in as well … and the other thing too is try to keep pets on a leash as much as possible. So just again, trying to make sure that all those different things are contained and you can control the situation. Then, give space. Back away.”
— with files from Kylie Stanton
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