Deer by the dozen: Wildlife leaders work to protect animals displaced by floods

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We’ve been seeing how the Mississippi river flooding has been impacting people in Warren County, but it’s also creating an problem for wildlife.

Hundreds of deer have been forced out in the open, away from their natural habitat.

It’s an unusual sight. One that’s the result of hundreds of deer being pushed out because of the rising Mississippi River. Those animals are in a vulnerable place, but they aren’t alone.

We are picking up a lot of deer from north of here and from south of here,” Gilbert Rose, President of Tara Wildlife said. “Not only just on the other side of that levee which is about 7,000 acres. They are coming across the level when the river rises”

We are told that with each stage of elevation, more deer show up.

“They live in the wild and be last place they want to be is where they are out in the open and exposed to traffic, humans or anything else,” Rose said. “They want to be back across the levee where it’s a safe haven for them.”

For now that safe haven is here at the Tara wildlife property. Relief wells have been added there to ease pressure on the levees, but the water is still moving in. It’s also not unusual to see more raccoons, otters and even alligators near the levees.

“One of the most stressful things for them is once they do cross they get forced out into these open spaces and any movement, keeps them on the run. They may not be near the River, but of there’s open water that’s the only escape route and they’re going to take it,” Rose said.

Some have even been taking advantage of the easy targets and trying to hunt the deer pushed into smaller areas. You should know that doing so is absolutely illegal. Tara Wildlife had been working with several agencies to keep them protected. So far, that teamwork has been productive.

“Wildlife fisheries and park, the levee board and warren county have done a great job this year in trying to minimize the amount of unnecessary traffic in the area. So for us it has been a godsend,” Rose said.

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