It’s not uncommon, but one Saanich resident’s encounter with an aggressive deer left her upset and wanting to warn others about the hazard posed by what are generally viewed as fairly innocuous wildlife residents within Greater Victoria’s urban neighbourhoods.
The incident occurred on June 4 as the woman was walking her dog along the 3700 block of Aiden Drive. She came upon a doe at the side of the road that seemed to take exception to sharing the area with the woman and her pet dog.
The deer approached the resident and, when she backed away, the presumably grumpy deer persisted, eventually chasing her around a parked car.
“This sort of thing happens every year,” said conservation officer Peter Pauwels.
“In the spring a lot of these does will be caring for their young and, even if you don’t see the fawn in the area, you can almost bet they are very close by,” he said.
“The does are simply acting on instinct to protect their young and they can become quite aggressive.”
The situation was finally resolved when a passing motorist noticed the situation and stopped to help scare away the relentless ruminant.
“Ninety per cent of these incidents involve people walking their dog. I suppose that the dogs represent a threat to the deer and they will behave in a way designed to protect themselves and their young,” noted Pauwels.
“Our best advice is that you should be very careful if you’re walking your dog in an area where you know there may be urban deer. If a situation like this should happen, people should pick up their dog (particularly if it is a smaller breed) and try to back away while putting something between themselves and the deer.”
Pauwels noted that while these incidents are common, the deer tend to be more bluster than danger. The Conservation Office in Victoria has no record of a human ever having been actually physically assaulted in a deer attack.