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'Pet the deer' video prompts concerned response from DWR officials

Published: Sunday, Aug. 30 2015 7:56 a.m. MDT

DWR advises people to steer clear of wildlife that wander into their neighborhoods. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) DWR advises people to steer clear of wildlife that wander into their neighborhoods. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

Our take: After a video of two children petting a deer, the Division of Wildlife Resources was prompted to warn people of wildlife that wander into their neighborhoods.

RIVERTON A couple of days before Christmas, Isabel and Gavin King were playing in their front yard in Riverton when a deer stopped by to play. Their dad caught it on video.

"I was asleep on the couch and I heard the kids say, 'Come play with the deer! Come play with the deer,'" Jamie King said.

He wandered outside, still groggy from his nap, and marveled at the sight of his kids, ages 7 and 5, playing with the doe, like she was a pet.

The doe was calm, and then jumpy, and after a few minutes, wandered off.

"At first, I was like, 'Whoa, that deer is a lot larger than my kids,'" King said. "But by then it was already too late, and my kids were already petting it. Once I saw my kids pet it, and I saw the deer jump like it did, I could tell they were fine."

When ksl.com put that video online, people responded; so did the Division of Wildlife Resources, which raised questions about how we should interact with animals in our neighborhoods.

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