Deer with ‘PET’ Written on Collar and Body: a Controversial Decision
Missouri locals’ decision to tie a collar around a deer and label it as a pet has stirred up quite a reaction. The intentions may have been good, with the aim of protecting the deer from predators, but the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) warns that it is not only a misguided idea but also illegal. This well-intentioned act only causes harm to the deer, rather than helping it in any way.
A concerned landowner alerted the MDC, prompting their response to the area. However, by the time they arrived, the deer had disappeared, and its whereabouts remain unknown. MDC Captain Scott Corley suggests that someone may have taken the deer out of the wild, treating it as a fan and attempting to keep it as a pet by putting a collar on it. Consequently, these deer have lost their natural fear of humans.
Corley expressed his concern regarding the health of the deer. Chronic wasting disease and other related ailments pose risks, making it unsafe for both humans and the animal. The act of marking the deer as a pet was most likely an attempt to ensure its safety during hunting season. However, this is not a good idea under any circumstances.
During mating season, which coincides with deer hunting season, male deer can become extremely dangerous. While they may initially be friendly towards humans, a buck in mating mode becomes aggressive. This combination of aggression and lack of fear towards people can result in problematic situations.
If the MDC manages to catch a deer, they can remove its collar and try to reintroduce it to the wild by “harassing” it back into its natural habitat. In the worst-case scenario, euthanization might be the most humane option. This decision would also be influenced by the deer’s level of aggression towards people, as the last thing they want is for the deer to harm someone.
Reactions to this situation on the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page have been varied. Some people found the incident unbelievable, while others empathized with those who wanted to protect their “pet” deer. However, it is crucial to understand that having a deer as a pet is not advisable, as they are wild animals, and interfering with nature often has negative consequences.
Corley agrees with this sentiment, stressing that removing deer from their natural habitat ultimately leads to unfavorable circumstances for the animals. He advises leaving them where they are and refraining from any interaction for their best chance at survival.
Q: Is it legal to keep a deer as a pet?
A: No, it is illegal to keep wild animals, such as deer, as pets.
Q: What risks are associated with marking a deer as a pet?
A: Marking a deer as a pet decreases its chances of survival in the wild, exposes it to potential diseases, and can increase aggression towards humans.
Q: Can a collared deer be returned to the wild?
A: Yes, if caught, the Missouri Department of Conservation can remove the collar from a deer and attempt to reintroduce it to its natural habitat.
Q: What is the potential outcome for an aggressive deer?
A: If a deer displays aggression towards humans, euthanization may be the most humane option to ensure public safety.
Q: What are the dangers of interacting with a wild deer?
A: Wild animals, including deer, should not be approached or considered as pets. They are unpredictable and can cause harm, posing a risk to both humans and themselves.
The incident involving the “PET” labeled deer teaches us an important lesson about interfering with wildlife. It is crucial to understand and respect the natural behaviors and habitats of these animals, ensuring their well-being and ours.