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‘I can’t imagine it would be all that nice to live with a swing around your neck’

Feeding deer in Bellingham is illegal - and will be expensive if you’re caught

The Bellingham City Council has banned the intentional feeding of deer and raccoons within the city limits.
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The Bellingham City Council has banned the intentional feeding of deer and raccoons within the city limits.

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is taking a wait-and-watch approach with a female deer that has been seen wearing a child’s swing around its neck in Bellingham.

Whatcom Game Warden Dave Jones told The Bellingham Herald that WDFW has received a number of reports about the deer in recent weeks.

“We considered darting her, but then we noticed that she had two fawn with her,” Jones told The Herald. “That could turn into a real nightmare. You don’t want to have to dart the fawns, too, so then what do you do with them?”

Instead, Jones said the department is hoping the swing will fall off on its own, as it already appeared “pretty close to coming off.”

“Deer can live their lives with it,” Jones said, “it just depends how tight it gets wrapped. It can get caught on things. I can’t imagine it would be all that nice to live with a swing around your neck, but she should be fine. If it were a buck, we would have darted him and taken the swing off.”

Jones said most of the calls about the deer were coming from Bellingham’s southern neighborhoods, but a couple of social media posts reported seeing it farther north near Cornwall Park.

Jones said there have not been any reports about the deer in the past week, hopefully indicating that the swing came off on its own.

If you love Whatcom Wildlife

Join us in our Facebook group Whatcom Wildlife. The Bellingham Herald created this group because we know so many people love to take pictures and video of the animals around us. And while we might want to publish a photo from the site, we’ll always ask the photographer’s permission first.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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