Shawville is abuzz with reports of a tame deer approaching people in the middle of town. (She’s turned up at the high school on more than one occasion.) We encountered her ourselves last Monday evening during a walk: she followed us at a discreet distance for about 700 metres before we were able to shake her off.
There’s speculation that some family took her in as a fawn and fed her for a while, then released her when she was older. Now people are increasingly concerned for her well-being. (Ironically, in a town full of hunters, with deer meat in their freezers, and deer season around the corner.) The authorities apparently say (I’m getting this third-hand) that she’s too old to be placed in a wildlife rescue. As you can see from the photo, she’s awfully thin: she was probably “rescued” at too young an age, and does not know how to forage for herself.
Wildlife should not be fed, and this is one of the reasons why: now she can’t figure out how to feed herself, and will starve if we don’t do it for her. She’s running free in a town full of cars and hunters, a lonely herd animal with no herd to belong to: it’s only a matter of time before she is run over or is shot or starves. This is why “helping” wildlife doesn’t help: you damage the animal’s ability to survive on its own.