The story of a young deer wandering through downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park has ended in tragedy.
On Sunday evening, the male black-tailed deer was killed in a collision with a vehicle on the Stanley Park Causeway near the south end of the Lions Gate Bridge.
The young buck, which was only about a year old, was frequently spotted by motorists at the Causeway location, ever since it made its first appearance in the downtown peninsula in mid-July. Stanley Park was its home over the last two months.
On the same day it made its first appearance, it is believed the buck swam across the First Narrows from North Vancouver to downtown Vancouver.
The B.C. Conservation Office had intended to relocate the animal when there was a safe opportunity to do so.
UPDATE: The Vancouver Park Board has issued a statement regarding the death of the deer:
“The deer had become habituated to people feeding and petting it. I want to emphasize how important it is for people to maintain an appropriate distance from wildlife such as deer, raccoons and coyotes. Contact with people can cause animals to become dependent and aggressive towards humans,” said Vancouver Park Board Biologist Nick Page.
Unfortunately, habituated deer cannot often be released successfully into the wild. The deer would have either become a problem somewhere else or died due to being unable to fend for itself. Finding sanctuaries willing to receive animals in these circumstances is a challenge.
Once again, we remind people that this is exactly the kind of tragedy that often occurs when wildlife become habituated to humans. Please do not touch, feed or take in orphaned fawns or other wildlife.