DNR Considering Options for Beach Frolicking Deer in Saugatuck
Most have already viewed the adorable viral video of the deer that joined beach-goers last weekend in Saugatuck, Michigan. As adorable as it may seem, the DNR is looking at it a bit differently.
The white-tailed deer is being monitored by state wildlife officials due to the safety risk. Because the of actions of the deer in the video it's clear that it is used to being around humans and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is monitoring the deer to make sure it doesn’t become a safety hazard. They are also considering that the deer's actions may indicate that he could be sick. Although the deer is friendly with humans now, it could become more dangerous in the future, especially in the fall when the buck's testosterone level increases and he will become more territorial.
Holly Vaughn, an MDNR wildlife communication coordinator, said the division is considering a number of options for dealing with the buck if it becomes a safety hazard to humans. One of those options could be chemically immobilizing, or tranquilizing the buck. Don Poppe, a wildlife biologist in the MDNR wildlife division states that it's best for humans to simply leave the deer alone and avoid interaction, and notes Poppe that it’s it's illegal to feed or bait deer in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
Although a up-close personal encounter with Bambi would be precious and could provide a viral photo op, the best advice for the safety of both you and the deer is to stay clear..