The thought of having a sweet, little, pet deer might sound nice, but we're here to tell you why keeping deer as pets is, most definitely, a bad idea.
We think it's safe to say that we all loved the Disney classic 'Bambi' as a child. (I mean, who didn't cry at some point during the movie?) Thanks to TV and movies, deer are usually seen as friendly and sweet creatures, and there's no denying that they are indeed a majestic and beautiful animal. (Baby deer, known as fawns, are seriously the cutest!) After all, there's a reason why a female's beautiful eyes can be referred to as "doe eyes." (doe = a female deer. Thank you 'The Sound of Music'!)
These days, because of 'Bambi' and the Disney's 'Frozen' franchise, more people in the United States are considering the possibility of keeping deer as pets. But, truthfully, pet deer are a really bad idea. Here is why.
Why Don't Deer Make the Best Pets?
Yes, wild deer might be super cute and all, and especially if you find a seemingly orphaned fawn in the wild, you might be tempted to take one home (I mean, who doesn't want to be petting a deer all day?) -- but having this wild animal as a pet is just a bad idea... No offense to the great Audrey Hepburn as she had a fawn named Pippin.
For one thing, even if you don't live in one of the many states where a deer is deemed an illegal pet, deer are wild animals at heart, meaning you cannot expect to truly domesticate them. While you can tame a deer when young and baby deer look sweet & tiny and does seem manageable at first, like all baby animals, young deer GROW and become dangerous; even tame deer, especially males, can become aggressive and likely to attack during breeding season.
Their antlers can also be dangerous: it's not uncommon for injuries, even deaths, to be caused by deer attacking and collisions with their antlers.
Keeping deer also requires a huge amount of space; space that not many people have the luxury to have. Captive deer increases their risk of diseases, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal neurological disease found in deer species.
While pet deer is not the best idea, if you must own a pet deer, species like the Muntjac Deer and the White-Tailed Deer rank among the most popular deer to keep as a pet. But honestly folks, it's probably best to stick to feeding deer at farms and zoos or scrolling through deer pics on social media -- or even hunting deer. (Did you know that only hunters aged 14 and above are allowed to hunt deer in New York?) Don't say we didn't warn you!
Have you thought of having a pet deer before? Let us know on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
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