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Wild animals are best left alone

A family deer living Lake View courtyard will be moved by Animal Control because residents continue feed babies milk from

A family of deer living in a Lake View courtyard will be moved by Animal Control because residents continue to feed babies milk from bottles and organic apples from Whole Foods.

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Updated: August 17, 2011 12:33AM

Conflicts between nature and humans continues in this wild month of June.

Here is a case where Bambi goes bad.

Ron Roth, Lake Villa police chief, reported that on Monday at 11:10 a.m. ,police officers responded to a call regarding a deer “doe” stomping a dog that was harassing a fawn. Officers found the injured dog in a back yard with the doe and fawn traveling off into a wooded area unharmed.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The dog owner was not immediately found and the animal was taken to an animal clinic in Libertyville where it was treated initially for a broken leg. But it was worse than that, said Dr. Bruce Setlock.

“The deer did a tremendous amount of damage,” he said, and it died after it was taken home by its owner. It was a miniature Australian shepherd, he said, weighing i about 20 pounds. I’m guessing the dog got loose and, as many dogs do, went after the fawn and the doe interceded.

“It’s the first time I have ever seen anything like that,” he said.

It was a first for Roth as well.

“The moral of the story is, ‘Don’t mess with Mother Nature, especially a mother and her young,’ ” he said.

“This time of the year, we get complaints of adult geese walking their young across busy Route 83, ducks walking their young across Petite Lake Road, large snapper turtles looking for a place to lay their eggs and crossing Grand Ave or Moneville Road and even beavers crossing Grand Ave. by Cedar Lake,” said Roth. But nothing like this. It’s sad, but it is what it is.

Which brings me to this picture of a doe and her two fawns in the north-side Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview.

Animal-control officers had to try and move the family because even though neighbors were warned not to, they couldn’t resist feeding the fawns when the mother was away. They bottle-fe, and hand-fed the fawns organic apples.

I’m sure some people brought their kids to feed the small deer because they were so cute. What they didn’t realize is they were imprinting the deer to not be afraid of humans. Good thing the doe didn’t return at the wrong time and attack the people.

Hopefully, the deer survived the move by animal control, but they may be so stressed they could die.

And that’s the human’s fault for not leaving them alone.

Back to Lake County, we had a similar incident in Mundelein that resulted in the deer being shot by police officers in the woods of a park and then hauled away in a tarp so people wouldn’t have to see it.

I wrote the story and it appeared in the Lake County News-Sun June 27, 2007. It was truly sad because I had obtained video of neighborhood children playing with the male deer. At one point it began pawing at a kid.


Let the wild animals stay wild. One guy actually tussled with the small buck because it went after his 2-year-old daughter.

Police and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did what they had to do because people had made the deer associate people with food.

People forget about things like deer ticks and the Lyme disease that can be debilitating to humans.

“There are more deer around here than when the settlers were here,” said Dr. Setlock. “The real danger of wild animals as pets and people is they transmit parasites,” he said.

Are any of you Lakeview residents scratching?

And since I brought up Chicago, did someone with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District that filters Chicago’s sewer water really say that removing the bacteria from the water they discharge into the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal would make the waterways more dangerous because people might swim in it and then drown?


Here in Lake County and everywhere else in the state, we disinfect the water before its dumped in the waterway.

And don’t think it’s some big complicated process. I toured the sewage treatment plant at Waukegan’s lakefront a few years back and the water simply passes over powerful ultra-violet lights that kill the bacteria before it is released.

It was nice to hear this week through an Openlands e-mail alert that the Illinois Pollution Control Board is moving forward to revise the rule that has allowed this to continue.

Get er done.

Nature hikes in Spanish

Nature hikes are being offered in Spanish to introduce Spanish-speaking residents to Lake County Forest Preserves.

The one-hour hikes are planned for next week Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m. at Prairie Wolf, July 16, 9 a.m. at McDonald Woods, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. at Grant Woods and September 24, 9 a.m. at Lakewood.

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