OUR VIEW JAN. 23: Don’t feed deer, whether in Ucluelet or Grand Forks

The deer feeding situation in Ucluelet is another example of why deer shouldn't be fed.

While the Ucluelet, B.C. situation involving resident Janet Schwartz and a domesticated deer named Bimbo is far removed from Grand Forks, there are lessons locals can learn.

A few week’s ago, Ministry of Environment officials suggested Bimbo be removed, after all, Bimbo is technically wildlife, but have since changed its mind and allowed the domesticated deer to stay with Schwartz.

It’s a good idea, as the deer has no idea how to survive in the wild – it has been with Schwartz for 10 years and the “owner” has been feeding the pet cookies, pop and chips, according to reports.

The deer has been living like a human for too long and wouldn’t know how to forage and would likely end up coming back to Schwartz’s residence. What isn’t a good idea is that Schwartz has kept the deer as a pet for over a decade.

Deer aren’t pets but are wildlife. You can’t go the pet store and buy a deer nor can you adopt one from the SPCA.

Neither are deer human, able to survive on a diet of junk food; they are herbivores that survive on vegetation.

Of course, Schwartz is happy to keep the pet she is improperly feeding and she is said to have kept the deer tethered outside her home, which isn’t good for an animal that roams.

She refers to the deer as her child yet she is doing Bimbo no favours with the way she is pampering the deer.

Wildlife veterinarians have expressed concern about the deer, saying it is getting obese and its teeth are likely sustaining damage from the sugary snacks being offered.

Schwartz may think she is helping Bimbo but she is having the opposite effect and should be ashamed of herself. The Ucluelet resident took the deer in after it was orphaned and she thinks she is doing the right thing but one only shudders to think that feeding a deer sweets and allowing it to sleep in a human bed is in Bimbo’s best interests.

Like Ucluelet, Grand Forks and any other areas with deer, leave them alone and allow them to develop on instinct.

Schwartz in her misguided way has good intentions but that is what they say the road to hell is paved with.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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