Southern Alberta resident Nicole Myer was driving her daughters back from hockey practice Sunday morning in Okotoks when she spotted an unusual sight.
“It’s funny because Okotoks on Friday just did their Christmas celebration – they shut down Main Street and lit up the big Christmas tree, all of the shops were open, everyone just walks around downtown,” she said. “And then the poor deer got tangled up in decorations.
“Okotoks just had ‘Light Up the Night’ but we had ‘Light Up the Deer.’”
She said she spotted the animal outside the Foothills Centennial Centre at around 10 a.m. It’s not clear where the deer got mixed up in holiday lights, but if anyone is missing some, this could be where they wound up.
“He ended up crossing the main street right by Tim Hortons. He was with some does. He ended up crossing the boulevard.”
Myer said she pulled over and watched the deer continue walking down the street.
“It was cool – I had the three kids in the truck and they all got to see it.”
She said there are lots of deer spotted in and around Okotoks, but she’s never seen one with holiday lights strung through its antlers.
“It’s the time of the season where you do get to see the bucks – they’re out chasing all the does.”
A government spokesperson said fish and wildlife officers are monitoring the situation and want the best for the deer.
“Deer typically shed their antlers in the winter and once this deer drops its antlers, the lights are likely to go with it,” Brendan Cox wrote in an email to Global News. “Officers have noted that the deer is able to move freely and continues to forage and find food despite the lights.”
Cox said officers would likely have to physically restrain the deer and/or tranquilize it to remove the lights, which could cause a lot of physical and mental stress, potentially doing more harm than good.
He encouraged people to avoid approaching the deer.
“To help prevent situations like this in the future, people can avoid stringing lights around bushes, shrubs or trees that are within reach of animals like deer,” he added.
People can report such situations to local fish and wildlife district offices by dialling 310-0000 toll-free in Alberta.