Development pushes more wildlife into private properties - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Development pushes more wildlife into private properties

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

July 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Wendy Mathis looked out of her window in Hickory Grove Thursday night to find a young deer in her swimming pool. "He was swimming laps. He just swam around and around and sat on the steps. And just when I thought it was going to get out, he started swimming again," said Mathis.

And though she knows there are deer on the property, she never thought they would be in her pool. "We have evidence of them being here where they grub on the trees and where they have eaten some of the plants," said Mathis.

"It's a very difficult situation to control especially where you have more development in some of these counties moving into deer habitat. So there is going to be an increased amount of interaction," said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist, Julie Robbins.

What used to be plantations where deer roam freely is becoming people's backyards. "We live with them and we try to let them have their space," said Mathis.

"Deer are not a danger to children or dogs. More often it's the other way around especially with younger deer. This time of the year, we request people to restrain their dogs so that they don't roam and get into trouble," said Robbins.

And as more development moves into rural areas, deer may cause more damage. "Sometimes deer will be hit by cars. And sometimes they will jump through windows and into houses. That has happened several times," said Robbins.

"We enjoy them, we really do and its kind of sad that all the building is going on and taking away their land," said Mathis.

"All they have to do is leave deer alone particularly if its fawns," said Robbins. And eventually they will move to other wooded areas. Anyone who finds a deer that doesn't eventually go away or appears to be sick needs to call their local DNR office to have it removed.

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