Chicago residents are familiar with a range of wildlife – pigeons, squirrels, rats, an occasional coyote. Most times they just go on about their business with nary a thought about the their natural surroundings.
But yesterday, a newcomer arrived in Boystown and the locals just couldn’t ignore her presence.
The visitor: a doe and her babies.
If you’re not from Chicago, you may not know about Boystown. It’s a densely populated, high-traffic neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. So, when this deer showed up in the neighborhood, she raised quite a stir. There’s no telling how she got there. She didn’t escape from Lincoln Park Zoo, which is relatively close. She just arrived unannounced.
Word spread fast and even captured the attention of Huffington Post which carried a video of the mother walking down the streets of Boystown taken by a local resident out walking her dog.. You can see it here:
The Chicago Animal Care and Control Department got involved. Their first plan was to leave the new family in place for a while. I’m sure the thinking was that with newborns, it would be much less traumatic to leave them in place until they were more able to handle being uprooted.
But that plan changed quickly and the family was removed to safer surroundings this morning.
The problem was that caring and curious citizens just couldn’t overlook the new arrivals. All the commotion and attention of the people in the area was becoming too distressful to the young family. And, the people started feeding the deer with foods from Whole Foods. Their intentions were good. But one we start feeding wild animals, we make them dependent and limit their ability to survive in the wild when they are finally relocated.
And so, an exciting opportunity to observe wildlife in Chicago up close and personal is now a memory.