The family of deer who called an East Lakeview courtyard home for at least the past week are now being removed from the area by Animal Control due to area residents who have fed the deer milk from a bottle and organic apples purchased from a Whole Foods market nearby.
While the city's Animal Care and Control department had previously pledged to leave the deer alone unless they began to pose a threat or were injured, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that area residents' offerings of nourishment threaten the animals' safety as the deer become comfortable enough to settle more permanently in the area and resist re-entering the wild.
“We just asked people not to feed them. Unfortunately people did not heed our advice," department commissioner Cherie Travis told the Sun-Times.
Another urgent concern was reportedly the upcoming pride parade, scheduled for June 26, which will attracts throngs in the thousands of visitors, many of them over-excited and over-served, to the neighborhood. 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney's office reportedly contacted the department with concerns for the animals' safety during the traditionally rowdy event.
And so the department will now move the animals "as humanely as possible" to a quieter part of the city, reportedly no small task, particularly as rumors have emerged that the family's matriarch may be injured. ChicagoNewsReport.com posted a blog reporting that, according to a police officer, the deer was spotted limping due to an injured leg.
"[Relocation is] not as easy as it sounds, because she’s nursing,” Travis told CBS News. “Typically, what you would do in a situation with a wild animal is that you would tranquilize it, but if you tranquilize it, that will prohibit her from being able to nurse the fawns because the drug will be in her milk.”
In case you missed it the first time, here again is the video YouTuber iamnotgreg caught of the mother deer wandering about the East Lakeview neighborhood Saturday.