Have you noticed all those deer around campus? It almost seems guaranteed that you’re going to see at least one on the way to your next class, making an otherwise boring trek brimming with life and nature.
According to a poll conducted by The Independent via Instagram, 96% of respondents regularly see deer on campus. Not to mention how nonchalant everyone is about them, they might as well be a part of the student body.
“It's a prime example of Co-existing with animals, they aren't afraid and we aren't afraid, we just simply live,” Jacob Fine, a student at FLC, said.
With all this in mind, how should we interact with the wildlife on our campus?
Deer are generally tame towards humans and will not attack unprovoked in most cases, but you should always try and stay about 10-15 feet away from them, John Livingston, a Public Information Officer at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said. If a deer is blocking your path, make sure to pass by as quickly and far away as possible, he said.
Livington also said that you cannot take up-close selfies with deer, and you especially cannot feed them, as it is illegal in Colorado.
If you must pass a deer, chances are it will not mind at all, but don't test your luck. Livingston said that there are certain scenarios where a deer is much more likely to be aggressive towards humans than normal, like if its fawns are nearby or if you happen to be walking your dog.
“The instincts of an animal when they see a dog is to associate it with wolves,” he said. To help mitigate this, make sure your dog is on a leash and make sure to keep your distance, he said.
There are multiple ways to tell if you are agitating a deer.
“They’ll sometimes put their ears back, or make grunting noises, or stomp one of its hooves, something like that,” Livingston said. “If you notice that, just take your time and find an alternative route,”
Since deer are so abundant in our environment, it’s important to keep all of this in mind and peacefully coexist with these woodland creatures.