Aggressive deer take over town

WATERTON, ALBERTA (CBC/CNN) - Usually people don't like packs of dogs running through their neighborhood, but in a Canadian town the residents would rather a herd of aggressive deer move elsewhere.

In the far corner of Southwest Alberta, Waterton National Park is known for its spectacular scenery and wildlife.

But in the tiny town that resides there that wildlife is turning into a big problem.

The mile deer that have been visiting the town for years are acting differently and while they may seem docile, some are downright dangerous.

Signs have gone up warning residents to beware.

Parks Canada is sending in dogs to combat the problem, and Chris Jobe and her six border collies are spending a month in Waterton to try to push the deer back into the wild.

"You don't want to get them too close and get them fighting so we'll just keep our distance, keep out of the fight zone and make them feel comfortable leaving town," she said.

Many people in the town has a story to tell about the aggressive deer, and some of those encounters, they said, were terrifying.

Resident Debbie West was with her dogs when she encountered a deer.

"All of a sudden out of nowhere she just came bounding toward me," West said.

Luckily someone distracted the deer and she didn't get hurt.

"Very scared, you know to have a deer come after you like that is, my heart was racing," she said.

Rod Kruetz has lived in Waterton for 50 years and has got lots of stories too.

"I came upon a deer basically attacking my son on a bicycle," he said.

Parks Canada said they also plan to educate the nearly half a million tourists who visit the area every year.

"The deer can be aggressive, they are wild creatures, the does will protect, and they can go from, being a wild animal, they can go from being very calm and very docile to striking out with their hoofs," said Dennis Madsen with Parks Canada.

The dog deterrent seems to be working.

There used to be about 50 deer in town every morning, but that number has dwindled.

Jobe said other locals have also noticed.

"They're feeling a lot safer to let their pets out and walk with their pets, and have their children out," she said.

But Parks Canada is not ready to call it a complete success.

The dogs are expected to be needed in the town every spring for the next two years.

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