YouTube video of deer attacking dog raises questions and concerns
A YouTube video of a deer attacking a dog in Cranbrook has sparked worldwide attention. The video now has over two million hits, but it's also spurred the B.C. city into action to deal with its urban deer population.
Star, the dog in the video, is aptly named since he's become famous for being the dog under the hooves of a deer on a viral YouTube video.
"Star is almost 15 years old, he has one eye, and broken hips from three years ago," said Star's owner, David Savage.
The YouTube video begins with a close-up shot of a cat and a fawn by a vehicle. The person shooting the video then pans over when the mother deer charges at Star who was walking on the nearby sidewalk.
Savage says the video has created a lot of judgment of the person taking the video, of the dog, the deer, and the dog's owner for not having him on a leash.
"No, he wasn't on a leash, but that wouldn't have changed the outcome, except it could have been worse. It could have been a human under those hooves," added Savage.
The attack is getting a lot of attention, but it isn't unique. At least one other dog in Cranbrook has been attacked by a deer protecting her fawn this spring, and there have been several close calls.
"Last Friday, I had to intervene. A lady was walking down 14th Avenue with her dog on a leash and a deer charged. She had to run to get away and I pulled my car in front of the deer," commented Cranbrook's mayor, Scott Manjak.
After meeting with biologists from British Columbia's Ministry of Environment, the city is set to take a cue from neighbouring Kimberley, a community with its own deer issues, and offer residents a survey to measure public concern.
"Also, we're organizing a committee to come up with a wildlife management plan," added Manjak.
Manjak has already publicly stated he would support a cull, but admits not everyone would agree.
"Look, we're aware of the nature of this, but someone is going to get hurt, it's just a matter of time, and can you imagine if it's a child? Are we going to be talking about the appropriate response then?" said Manjak.
As for Star's owner, Savage says he's not voicing an opinion, but he's glad that public discussion and government action have come about after the terrible incident.
Cranbrook council is expected to authorize the deer survey at its next meeting, and the surveys should be delivered to residents within the next month.