NEWS

Rogue deer on the loose in Beaconsfield

03/25/2015 09:59 EDT | Updated 05/25/2015 05:59 EDT
People living in Beaconsfield are concerned for the well-being of a young deer who has taken up residence in the city.

For the past few weeks the deer has been seen in people’s backyards, and city authorities are worried she could be in danger if she wanders into traffic.  

"In the past week or so she has adopted a particular property — the backyard of a particular resident — and she’ll wander off during part of the day, but she ends up back there in the afternoon and she spends the night there curled up in a ball," District 2 city councillor Karen Messier told Sue Smith on CBC's Homerun.

"The neighbour tells us that this afternoon she was sunning herself in the back yard.'

Elusive animal

Messier says the deer is well known in Beaconsfield, and even the mayor has called wildlife authorities to help bring her to a safe place. 

"Clearly, she doesn't belong here," she said. 

Messier says that wildlife authorities have shot her with a tranquilizer gun on at least three occasions. 

"Strangely enough, she did not drop," said Messier. 

She says that at one point, the deer was at a waterfront property. When authorities tried to approach her, she jumped over a 3.5 meter seawall and ran away on the ice. 

'We have great respect for her but we are also concerned about her," said Messier.

'Not winter animals'

Experts say the deer likely chose to take up residence in Beaconsfield because of the abundant food and protection from the harsh winter conditions. 

"It may be surprising for some to hear that they really are not winter animals... what they do when it gets cold and it gets hard to find food is they look for an area with a little bit of food and is protected again wind, sleet, snow and rain," said  Scott Pemberton, a naturalist at the Morgan Arboretum.  

Messier says some people have been feeding her apples, and although she appreciates the good intentions, it is in the animal's best interest to not let her become reliant on humans.  

It is not certain where the deer came from. Pemberton says she could have come from the nearby Angell Woods, or even walked across the frozen water.

"If we leave her alone, she will eventually wander back come the melting of the snow," said Messier. 

MORE:cbcNews