Dubliners are once again have to be reminded not to feed or take selfies with the deer in Phoenix Park.
Feeding the wild animals is shunned by park keepers as it causes malnourishment and stress.
And park visitors are advised to stay at least 50 metres away from the deer.
Terry Moore, Phoenix Park Deer Keeper told Newstalk that “feeding the deer is a big problem.”
He said that there has been a noticeable increase in visitors feeding the deer during the pandemic, and even before COVID, the same issue was reoccurring with tourists who were not aware of the park rules.
Terry explained that members of the public try to get selfies or feed the deer carrots or bread.
He said: “They weren’t aware of the problems it causes to the deer or the danger it puts themselves in.
“Deer need to be left alone, just admire them from 50 metres.
“When people disturb them, they disturb their natural habitat.
“What deer do, they chew, they graze, they rest, they digest, so when you interfere with that, their digestive system suffers.
“Sometimes people know they shouldn’t feed them but they still come in and do it.
“A toddler could be surrounded by four or five big bucks and all it takes is one fast movement and the deer gets startled God forbid something bad might happen.”
A notice on the Phoenix Park Bikes website highlights the problem while warning day-trippers to leave the animals alone.
It says: “Deer are naturally very timid animals but in the Phoenix Park they are losing their fear of humans due to being fed by them. “When they see someone standing with food in their hand they now sometimes approach, and this can be dangerous.
“This is not just dangerous to people, but to the deer as well. They can only digest certain foods, and if they’re given too much of a food, they can’t digest it can kill them.
“Feeding Deer -however well-intentioned – either compromises the animal’s wilderness or wellness, or it interferes with the essential natural processes of selection.”
Here’s what the Phoenix Park website says about the deer – and how humans should behave around them.
There is a FAQ section and one question is: ‘Can I feed the Deer?’ The answer is NO.
Or as it says, “Please do not feed the deer.” It’s important to stay safe! Wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance from people and deer.”
Get the latest news in your inbox
Sign up for Dublin Live’s breaking news newsletter by simply entering your email address here
The FREE email will land into your inbox every day. Whether it be traffic and travel, what’s on or crime – this newsletter will have you covered for everything.
You can unsubscribe from this service at any time. And rest assured that your data will not be shared with any other party.
For the latest news and breaking news visit dublinlive.ie/news.
Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you.
Follow us on Twitter @DublinLive – the official Dublin Live Twitter account – real news in real time.
We’re also on Facebook/dublinlive – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout the day from the capital.
Source: Dublin News