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INFLUX OF DEER LEADS OFFICIALS TO URGE CAUTION

As many as six deer in the past two weeks have been caught darting through city streets, according to officials at the Buffalo Animal Control Office.

But Dave Kiel, a Department of Environmental Conservation official, says there's no particular reason for the sudden increase.

A doe was subdued with tranquilizer darts Wednesday on the city's East Side. It was later released on Grand Island, according to SPCA officials.

"There's never a simple answer," Kiel said. "It's kind of a combination of things."

The high population of deer as well as the increase in construction in wooded areas contributes to the number of deer sightings in the city's urban centers, he explained.

"Many are just looking for a suitable habitat, and deer can usually adapt very well to different environments," he said. "They can live around people quite readily."

A common trait in deer migration near urban areas is that they travel along abandoned railroad tracks.

But once they reach the city, it's best to leave the deer to the professionals, Kiel advised.

"One thing people should know is, don't try and capture the deer . . . because if you get it cornered, it will act like any other animal that is cornered," Kiel said. "They'll run right over you."

Fawns, he noted, are just as dangerous.

"A small deer can easily kick as high as a 7-year-old," Kiel said. "Those little hooves could easily hurt a child."

Despite the increase in city deer sightings, Kiel said that the DEC is not looking to do more to remove them from the area.

"For every animal you drug and move, there's another to take it's place," he said.

Percentage of survival for the deer population is rather unpredictable, Kiel said, noting that about 50 percent of the deer born will not survive.

"It's just like a man that's taken in and put on the operating table, there's a chance that he will not survive," he said.

Those that do survive and migrate into the city are usually subdued by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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