Berkeley Wildlife: Street Deer


I’ve mentioned several times in the last couple of years–here and here, for instance–that it has become pretty commonplace to encounter deer here in the Berkeley flatlands (and in the hills, some deer are getting ornery.) Still, today’s experience broke new ground. First, during a noontime walk, The Dog startled a good-sized young adult deer–I’m guessing it was a male–that had been browsing the plants along a driveway adjacent to a vacant lot or overgrown backyard on Monterey Street. The deer bolted into the trees and watched us. Then a woman pulled into the driveway. She said she wasn’t surprised we had happened upon the deer. “There’s a family of three living in there,” she said. “The poor things are just running out of room.” She also mentioned that a dead deer was lying on the street nearby. Hit by a car? I asked. “No–it must have been sick. It doesn’t look like it was injured.” She added that someone had called Berkeley Animal Control.

Her description didn’t prepare me for the fawn that lay along the sidewalk two doors down. A beautiful animal. Surprisingly, The Dog wasn’t interested. I took a few pictures, and we continued on our walk. When we get home, I called animal control myself. When someone came on the line, I told them I wanted to report a dead deer on a street in North Berkeley. “Would that be the one on … Monterey?” the attendant asked. “Yeah, that’s the one.” “We already know about that,” she said. “Any ETA for when you might be out there?” “No. We have one officer in the field, and emergency calls come first. So ….”

I wonder how long it will take word to spread in the carrion-eating community of the choice meal awaiting out there.

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