Wildlife officials warn the deer may be euthanized if it continues to interact with people
Residents of a community in Herriman, Utah, are enjoying spending time with a friendly deer, but wildlife officials say if the wild animal continues to hang around, it may have to be euthanized.
“He liked hanging out with the kids, he was playing on the hill with them,” neighborhood resident Angelica Lujan said.
Lujan says she’s amazed by the deer’s demeanor.
“When he first started coming around, some of the neighbors had talked about not being too friendly with him so he doesn’t get used to us, but it’s a little bit past that,” Lujan said.
Locals have been posing with the deer they named Copper and posting the images on social media.
But Scott Root, conservation outreach manager with Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources, has a warning for those who want to interreact with the deer.
“People don’t realize these beautiful, cute deer can be aggressive as they get older,” he said. “We’ve had times in the past where these friendly deer, they do get aggressive. We’ve had kids hurt at bus stops. Bad things happen when we feed deer in a residential area.”
He said if Copper continues to visit the neighborhood, the wildlife agency may have to euthanize the deer because relocating it is not an option.
“We choose not to relocate because of disease considerations. If this deer stays in the community, it could get hit by a car,” Root said.
Copper has been hanging around for several weeks. Some neighbors say the deer is an orphan because its mother was hit by a car.
“We’re hoping people don’t befriend it and it goes up in the foothills but if people do see it, leave it alone. Everyone loves that picture for Facebook or Instagram but you’re really doing that animal a disservice and maybe giving it a death sentence if it becomes too domesticated,” Root said.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.