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Utah officials asking residents to stay away from 'friendly' deer

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 11:18:06-05

HERRIMAN, Utah (KSTU) — A "friendly" deer is creating a lot of buzz in Utah's Herriman community.

“He liked hanging out with the kids," said Angelica Lujan. "He was playing on the hill with them."

The deer, which residents named "Cooper," has been seen in pictures videos online.

Lujan said she was amazed by the deer’s calm demeanor.

“When he first started coming around, some of the neighbors had talked about not being too friendly with him so he doesn’t get used to us, but it’s a little bit past that,” said Lujan.

Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources said despite the deer's gentle and friendly attitude, people should leave him alone.

"People don’t realize these beautiful, cute deer can be aggressive as they get older. We’ve had times in the past where these friendly deer, they do get aggressive," said Scott Root, conservation outreach manager of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "We’ve had kids hurt at bus stops. Bad things happen when we feed deer in a residential area."

Root says if the deer becomes too much of a regular in the neighborhood, they may have to euthanize him.

“We choose not to relocate because of disease considerations. If this deer stays in the community, it could get hit by a car,” said Root.
Root hopes people will leave the deer alone so it can return to its natural habitat.

“We hoping people don’t befriend it and it goes up in the foothills but if people do see it, leave it alone. Everyone loves that picture for Facebook or Instagram but you’re really doing that animal a disservice and maybe giving it a death sentence if it becomes too domesticated,” said Root.

This story was originally reported by Eliana Sheriff on fox13now.com.