DEER SIGHTINGS Deer feed on local plants in the Lower Mainland. In the Okanagan Valley deer have been seen in some urban areas, and more will be observed during the spring. (Angelo Bruscas/North Coast news)

Deer showing up in South Okanagan urban areas

Caution urged around wildlife in the region

Now that spring has arrived, deer sightings are becoming more common in Summerland and around the region.

Dave Cox, a conservation officer based out of Penticton, said deer have been seen in urban areas in the South Okanagan, especially now as the temperature is warming.

He said deer in an urban area can also attract predators to the areas.

In addition, since the does will soon be giving birth, Cox advises caution around deer.

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Pet owners should keep their pets on a leash in order to avoid conflicts with deer.

“The deer don’t differentiate between domestic and wild animals,” he said.

The fawn season normally happens closer to June, but the first fawns can appear much earlier in the spring.

In addition to deer, Cox also urges South Okanagan residents to be prepared for bear sightings in the area.

At this time, bears are waking up from hibernation.

“They’re looking to make up the proteins and calories they lost during their winter hibernation,” he said.

In addition, he urges residents to make sure they are not planting vegetation or leaving garbage out that could serve to attract wildlife.

Communities around the area are near wildlife habitats and encounters with deer, bears, cougars and other animals are possible.

“We should always be erring on the side of caution,” he said.

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