North Bay residents still searching for help for deer in distress

A group of North Bay residents concerned about a deer that seems to be in distress say the animal still hasn’t been helped, months after it was first spotted.

The MNRF says it plans to capture the deer if it gets the opportunity

North Bay resident Polly Lowe says this deer, which appears to have a band wrapped tightly around its torso, recently started visiting her backyard. Other residents have tried to help the animal, since it was first spotted months ago. (Polly Lowe/Supplied)

A group of North Bay residents are concerned no one has come to the aid of a  deer that seems to be in distress, months after it was first spotted.

The deer was initially seen wandering around the West Ferris area at the end of May, with what appears to be a black band wrapped tightly around its body.

Recently, Polly Lowe said the animal has started to frequent her backyard.

"She still has the band on and she licks it, that area. It's probably buried into her body, about maybe two inches now because she's grown and it's just cutting into her body," Lowe told CBC News.

Lowe and other residents have tried to contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to capture the deer, but Lowe said she's been disappointed by the ministry's slow response.

"It's the response time. The deer … may stay for a half an hour, 45 minutes. If they can't respond, they'll never get this deer fixed."

MNRF still looking for the deer

The MNRF said it made an attempt to find and tranquilize the deer in early June and later set up a trail camera near where the animal had been spotted.

In a statement to CBC News, the MNRF said that camera is still in place, but the deer hasn't been seen in the area for several weeks.

It adds that this is an unusual situation, as the ministry does not usually respond to calls about sick or injured wildlife and will instead direct callers to wildlife rehabilitators.

Lowe said she reached out to the wildlife sanctuary in Sudbury, but was told it didn't have the personnel or equipment to help.

Other residents have been in touch with wildlife sanctuaries in southern Ontario and are waiting to hear back.

Residents of West Ferris area reported the deer to the MNRF, but have been disappointed with the response. The ministry says it is still hoping to capture the animal, but that it doesn't usually respond to calls about sick or injured wildlife. (Tracy Richardson-Sloan/Supplied)

In the meantime, Lowe said she has been offering the deer apples and carrots whenever it shows up in her yard. She's worried the animal may be in pain and struggling to eat.

"She appears to be hungry, but I don't know being that thin. I think that band is affecting her stomach. You know, maybe she's not digesting the food properly or what, but she's very, very thin."

MNRF staff who observed the deer earlier this summer found it was able to eat, drink and run despite the band, according to the ministry's statement.

The ministry said it still plans to catch the deer and remove the band if it gets the opportunity.


Robin De Angelis is a multimedia journalist based in southwestern Ontario. She has previously worked as a reporter covering local news in Sudbury. Get in touch on Twitter @RobinElizabethD or by email


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