Pleasant Ridge Neighbors Consider How to Help Baby, the Deer, Through the Winteressential
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 12, 2014)
An orphaned fawn has found a pleasant home among the beautiful trees, and lush backyards of Pleasant Ridge, where residents bring her food each day and track her whereabouts online. Though the doe, named Baby, is well-loved, neighbors fear for her safety though as winter approaches.
Baby’s mother was famous even before giving birth. “Baby’s mom came to visit me on 10 Mile Rd,” said Gerlinde Bowen. “This location is a highly unlikely spot to see a Deer at any given time. She was in my front yard and ran over to my neighbors. She jumped the fence and just laid down. She was so pregnant. I told her, will you please come and stay? I will feed you and love you. Anyway, I left and when I got back she was gone and so where about close to a dozen tulips in my yard, that were about almost ready for bloom. I did feed her after all.”
Baby was born sometime in June, most likely in a ctechadPleasant Ridge back yard. Her earliest steps were witnessed by neighbors who provided refuge and shared excited announcements on Facebook.
For weeks Baby followed the mother deer around town, as Pleasant Ridgers tried to figure out what to do. Deer who make their way into 934_8600_Gen-Online_Banners2suburban areas often have a fate that is horrible for the animal, and dangerous for whatever unlucky motorist happens to be part of the nearly-inevitable collision. People made calls to rescue organizations, the Department of Natural Resources, the Detroit Zoo and anyone else that might have some insight. Some wanted to have the deer put down to avoid further property damage and risk to vehicles, an option not uncommon in other communities where deer are considered a nuisance. But those who suggested the deer’s demise did not post for long in the online forums where Baby supporters were far more vocal.
City Manager James Breuckman did the official research. In July he told the oc115, “We did look into options for what to do with the deer, but ultimately we adopted a hands-off policy. This is consistent with how all of our neighboring communities manage deer, as there are problems involved in capturing and transporting deer, particularly when there is a fawn involved as there is in the deer that have been in PR this spring and summer.“Further, based on our research, Cities that instituted culling or transplanting programs ended up with no net effect on the number of deer in the City. Deer are wild animals and will go where they can. We did contact Oakland County, the Zoo, the MDNR, and Berkley and none of those organizations relocate deer or recommend relocating deer.”
The fears of residents came true on July 29, when the mother deerseed015_kathryn_balcer was struck by a vehicle on Woodward and killed.
Tracey Leigh Bechard Magiera and Janet Dimeck-Eggen have been the point people for making sure that Baby gets fed and coordinating potential rescue efforts, which became even more essential after the little deer lost her parent. “People bring food and I make sure she gets fed,” Magiera said. “I feed her deer pellets and carrots and beets mixed with white bread.” She’s also brought pumpkin, apples, corn and other treats. An effort is underway to put a winter shelter in a neighbor’s yard where Baby often goes to sleep in the bed of hosta beneath a large tree.modern natural baby inprogress
“I wish there was a way to get her out of here and to a safer place,” Magiera said. She said she had found a deer sanctuary near Fowlerville, but no one will tranquilize the animal to move her.
Baby has made a habit of running after joggers and trying to play with neighborhood dogs. So far it is unknown if anyone has touched her, though the general consensus is fear that she will panic and accidentally injure someone with her strong legs.
Alicia Gbur, who recently spotted Baby at Oakdale and Kemberton, shared a concern that many have about Baby’s popularity. “One of the things that worries me are all the people and kids getting too close trying to run up to her to take photos. It’s completely ridiculous just witnessing these people trying to take photos with baby and their kids and getting to close to her. She still a wild animal and that should be respected. I wish there was a way to let people know that. I’m afraid someone’s going to scare her into traffic.”
Magiera said the best option for Baby is to find someone who will tranquilize Candlewickshop_May2014her and move her to the refuge, although opinions differ on if she would survive the shock. Apart from that, the community is dedicated to continuing to provide care. “I have been feeding her everyday trying to fatten her up so that she can survive this winter. If you go back into these posts over the summer you will see everything that has been being done to take care of her. If you know of anybody that his trained in capturing baby deer please let us know because I have not been able waterworkto find anyone who would help.”
Thomas Treuter, a frequent host for the animal, has taken some of the best photographs. “The deer has done as much as any civic activity to focus the entire PR community. Everyone wants to see her thrive and few of us can do much about it except hope. I suppose we’re hoping together,” he said.
If anyone knows of someone licensed and willing to help relocate Baby to the deer refuge, please contact Tracey Leigh Bechard Magiera on Facebook or through email at valentina5261999@Yahoo.com.
For previous stories see:
20141112baby05 20141112baby06 20141112baby07 20141112baby08 20141112baby09 20141112baby010 20141112baby0220141112baby011