Lesson 1

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Young deer hustled out of town


Orphaned fawns from rehab centre are being taken to isolated area


Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist


Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
A group of eight young deer was blindfolded and wrestled into a horse trailer before being driven to a secret location on the west coast of Vancouver Island yesterday.
The deer are among a record number of orphaned fawns cared for by the SPCA's wild-animal rehabilitation centre this spring and summer, about half of which are about to be released into the wild.
"We've had 16 of them this year, which is double the number we had last year," said Wild ARC manager Sara Dubois, who wonders how the centre will deal with the orphaned fawns if the numbers keep growing.
"Most of them are here because their mothers got hit by cars. With the amount of development in the city, more and more animals are being affected."
The problem is two-fold, said Dubois: Houses are being built in areas of traditional deer trails, while more vehicles in areas that used to be rural are killing more deer. "The city has become their new backyard. We had one on Dallas Road this year. Where did he come from?"
Each municipality is responsible for picking dead deer off the road, or paying for a contractor to do the work. Without a central registry, it's difficult to estimate how many deer are killed on the road.

 

Nonetheless, Dubois believes the number is significant and rising, especially in the West Shore. Speed is a major factor and signs warning drivers about deer are often ignored, she said, adding ICBC should take note of the problem because collisions with deer pose a danger to human safety.
The centre can help only deer born this year, as larger animals are too dangerous.
"They can kick out a rib or even kill you quite easily," Dubois said. "We don't have any fancy equipment here."
The fawns are being released in a remote area, one that ARC staff hope is not attractive to hunters. Animal advocates are crossing their fingers that the deer will make it through their first winter.
"They are at a disadvantage because they are not with their mothers, but there is no way we can provide them with proper nutrition over the winter," Dubois said.
Even in summer, deer are high-maintenance animals and staff have to spend a couple of hours a day collecting greens for them to eat, she said.
In Saanich, pound officer Bill Storey, who is responsible for moving dead and injured deer off the road, says it's one of the saddest parts of the job.
Although he has no statistics, Storey believes the number of roadkills is increasing, estimating up to 45 dead deer have been taken off Saanich roads this year.

 

Drivers should take more care in high-risk areas, especially at dawn and dusk, he said.
"If you see one deer, there are usually two or three more travelling behind and people should slow down."
jlavoie@tc.canwest.com

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

Source: http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/capital_van_isl/story.html?id=7a084db6-9425-447e-a6a2-ba72901533c1

Phrases:

“Crossing their fingers”: This means to hope for the best or to be optimistic.

Example:

Before writing the test John crossed his fingers that he would do well.

When Mary buys lottery tickets her crosses her fingers that she will win.

 

“More and more”: This means something is increasing in frequency or amount.

Example:

More and more people are using the Internet than ever before.

With the awareness of global warming, more and more countries are trying to lessen pollution and to recycle.

 

True or False:

1. Municipalities are responsible for having dead deer removed from the road.

2. The orphaned fawns are being released into the city.

3. Wild ARC staff spend a couple of hours each day collecting food for the deer to eat.

4. Larger deer are difficult to help because they can be dangerous.

5. The building of houses around deer trails is one reason why there are so many deer around the cities.