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Animal Control on the Lookout for a Friendly Deer

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2011 at 10:00 am 5,969 57 Comments

Animal control officers are on the lookout for a deer that’s getting a bit too friendly with people.

According to police radio traffic, the young female deer was walking right up to Glebe Elementary School students today before school — a behavior much more reminiscent of a lost puppy than a wild deer. In days past, kids had been spotted feeding the deer in a local park.

Arlington animal control officers are reportedly aware of the deer and are trying to capture it.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

  • drax

    Is the deer wearing a long overcoat and giving out candy?

    • AllenB

      No. It’s a Democrat.

      • BnellA

        Ahhhh – then it’s blaming others and taking everyone’s money. Muuuuuuch better.

        • drax

          Blaming others for Arlington’s low taxes, good schools and high quality of life?

          • Terry


          • drax

            Oh, and Arlington’s good environment, where the deer and children play together. Almost forgot that.

          • TGEoA

            Low taxes? Renter.

          • drax

            Nope. We have the lowest tax rates in the area.

          • Mike

            But properties are more valuable here so the actual amount of per capita taxes are higher. My out-of pocket property taxes have essentially doubled in the last 6 years and while arlington is a great place to live, I can’t say that I am getting double the value from my government that I was getting previously.

          • TGEoA

            Horse feathers. Property taxes in Arlington are 2nd only to Loudon last I checked.

            Renters never see this directly of course, but it does vastly increase the cost to live here.

          • drax

            Uh, yeah, you’re richer so you pay more in actual taxes even though the rates are low. Duh. Life’s tough, huh? Those lucky ducks living in shacks are so much better off pay less in taxes and all.

          • TGEoA

            Low compared to what? Only 1 jurisdiction in the area has HIGHER rates. Sheesh

          • drax


            Last time I looked, Arlington has the second-LOWEST rates. (Lowest was Falls Church).

          • Rick

            Yeah those low taxes that drive me to eat anywhere but Arlington County

          • jack

            But doesn’t the travel cost offset the savings when you…


          • Actually

            I do the same thing. Go 2-3 miles into FC, McLean, or Alexandria, and prices are cheaper, parking more plentiful, the food more of the independent mom/pop ethnic variety than the Upscale American Pan-Asian Fusion Tapas Tavern BS that dominates Arlington nowadays.

            Columbia Pike is the last holdout of good, cheap eats here, but I fear for its future.

          • drax

            Life’s tough when you have to eat out somewhere else to avoid a few extra dollars.

          • brian

            gas is cheaper out side the NOVA area too.

          • Carl

            Lines are shorter too.

          • drax

            Who needs gas in Arlington?

  • CourthouseChris

    I believe I saw this deer, or another friendly deer, just hanging out next to people at Lacey Woods Park at George Mason and Washington Blvd. on Saturday.

    Also, very large male deer on Roosevelt island are pretty unperturbed by humans. I passed by close enough to touch two of them while jogging through there a month ago.

  • North A-Town Snob

    mmmm, tasty young venison. capture and cook sounds like a plan. low in fat and high in protein.

  • novasteve

    Ah, the wonder humanitarians in arlington going to kill this animal for being friendly…

    • drax

      Get over yourself, steve.

  • Pentagonian

    D’OH!!! A deer. A female deer.

    • Smahtahs

      George Meyer called; he wants his line back.

    • LoxyBrown

      Still, cute.

  • dallynd

    Courthouse Chris I believe you’re right. The kids at the bus stop there tend to feed her. Great …. capture.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    She just wanted to check out the newly installed solar panels. Just like in the commercials nature and technology existing as one.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    Also, very large male deer on Roosevelt island are pretty unperturbed by humans. I passed by close enough to touch two of them while jogging through there a month ago.

    This is an accident waiting to happen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rut_(mammalian_reproduction)

  • My husband may have seen this deer last week near N. George Mason and Washington Blvd. It was about to cross the street and my husband was worried it would get hit by a car, so he was able to get it back into Lacey Woods Park. Cute little thing.

    I hope animal control does not kill it.

  • Jason

    We’ve seen the deer a couple of times. It thrilled my young daughter by walking up to us in Lacey Woods park. And this morning, in fact, it walked to school with us. By the time we got to the crosswalk at 16th and Abingdon, there were fifteen kids, three dogs, and a deer all crossing together. I doubt the crossing guard ever held up traffic for a deer before.

    I do hope that no harm comes to the deer. It is a very sweet deer.

  • Animal Doc

    A tame wild deer is not a good thing. Tame fawns and younger deer that are not afraid of humans can become extremely aggressive and dangerous as they mature. They can transmit disease and also attack humans…they have even caused death by goring and trampling before. This cute little deer could pose a big problem and needs to be trapped and most likely euthanized. Unfortunately, it is not normally the animal’s fault as humans that feed them from a young age are to blame for this needing to be the case. Check out the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website for more information on the deer in Virginia.

    • God forbid we coexist with those creatures we inhabit this planet with.

      Watch out for overly friendly squirrels. Better get a bbgun out and blow him away before somebody thinks he is cute and gives him a peanut.

      Humans can be so uncaringly stupid.

      • drax

        Agree – we humans shouldn’t have killed the bears and lions that would have eaten this deer a long time ago.

        • The bears and lions would have used the deer as food. We, on the other hand, will kill him because he’s cute and friendly.

          • drax

            No, we will kill him because the bears and lions aren’t around to do it any more.

          • I hope you don’t go wandering into the wrong neighborhood, drax. They might kill you just because someone else didn’t.

            Oh, wait. I doubt you ever leave Arlington.

          • drax

            Yes, OB, nothing can go awry when top predators are wiped out and prey like deer multiply out of control.

            And I would leave Arlington but I’m scared of lions and bears.

          • Anon

            No, we will kill him because he has rabies.

      • sa

        while it does seem ridiculous to euthanize a baby animal for being overly friendly with humans, i think the point animal doc is trying to make is that it may pose a larger risk to children as it gets larger, stronger and potentially more aggressive. most animals in the area coexist with human inhabitants but in such a way where they maintain their own boundaries. the fawn has been conditioned at an early age to ignore these boundaries, so could utlimately put itself and humans it interacts with at risk.

        i take it you don’t hunt since you are so opposed to klling wildlife? i’m not a fan of this poor fawn having to be put down, but public safety precautions seems to be a better reason to kill an innocent creature than a human’s urge to shoot something…

  • charlie

    for many of the same reasons — disease, attacking humans, bugs, becoming extremely aggressive and dangerous as they mature (ha).. i think most people who post on ARLNOW should be trapped and sent to the rehabilitator in Front Royal.

  • soarlslacker

    Does anyone have a big yard and a shed? I’d be more likely to bring the deer home and feed it and build a shed for it than I would to call animal control. Killing the deer seems like a lazy solution. Do you think a deer could learn to open and close a gate so my dogs don’t get out? While deer are not pets, this does not sound like an animal that is going to harm anyone.

    • drax


  • Tre

    I love the when in doubt, kill mentality. If the friendly deer is such a danger, dart & cart the thing out to Shenandoah. Drop it in someone’s backyard and leave. If it tries to “viciously attack” someone out there once mature, it’ll be surely be shot immediately.

    • sa

      if the deer has already learned that approaching humans may result in being fed, it will carry that behavior with it to any environment you “cart” it to. shenandoah park rangers discourage you from feeding the animals because it leads to animals being more aggressive with foraging on the campgrounds. these animals are also euthanized.

    • drax

      Not much better than your “when in doubt, dump the problem in someone else’s backyard and wait for it to attack someone else” mentality.

      • Tre

        a) Population density is slightly different out there, giving the thing a chance to live without running into humans.

        b) Killing something that might be a danger in the future sounds a lot like the Minority Report.

        c) “Euthanize” is such an elegant word

        • sa

          yup. putting down a deer is exactly the same thing as minority report. good catch.

        • drax

          a) True.

          b) Not if it is likely to simply starve slowly instead.

          c) Fine – “kill”

          The problem is that this deer is probably dead anyway. It’s going to either grow up and get shot after mauling a child, or get hit by a car. It might be dependent on humans for food too – vegetable gardens, trash, hand-feeding, bird feeders – and unable to survive a winter in the Shenandoah. It’s probably an orphan that didn’t learn to survive on its own. Nobody wants it to die, but it may be doomed no matter what.

      • There certainly is more natural food sources out in the country. In Arlington there’s only pizza, cupcakes, and beer.

  • nokill

    Have you ever fed a Canadian goose around here? Within a few seconds it calls its posse and you’re being circled by some very aggressive large birds. Yet, animal control isn’t going bounty hunter on them. I think we can survive with one tame female deer on the loose.

    • drax

      Geese don’t often cause serious car accidents, carry Lyme disease, or attack people aggressively as adults with the potential to cause serious injury when they lose fear of humans. A deer is also much larger than a goose.

      It’s Canada Goose btw, not Canadian.

      Look, I hope they don’t kill it, but it’s not like there’s no possible reason to.

      • Anon


        • Loocy

          Geese don’t carry rabies. Only mammals carry rabies.

    • sinner

      This deer kicked some ladies dog in the chest last week, and also stomps at the kids, imagine this same deer doing the same things when it’s an adult because a few stupid parents want to take pictures of there kids feeding the deer. I doubt if Animal Control is going to Euthanize the deer, it’s not even there problem, it’s Parks & Rec.

  • Nance

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