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Question
This week I have been visited by two deer one of which has a broken leg which is curled up and hanging loosely.  I believe deer break their legs rather frequently here due to high metal fencing around a large charitable estate and being pursued by the many coyote we have.  This deer is likely to be prey very soon as she seems to be hobbling on the crusty snow. She otherwise seems healthy and not in pain. Should nature...in the form of coyotes...be allowed o take its course or should I alert local wildlife professionals?

Answer
Hi Franne,

From an ethical standpoint, yes, you should notify wildlife officials. Because deer are prey species, they are very good about hiding pain and any signs of weakness will attract predators. If the deer has an open fracture (bone exposed), infection will likely set in.

If I were in this position, I would contact your DNR http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/Pages/default.aspx and alert them to the situation. They may tell you to let nature take its course, or come out to assess the deer and potentially humanely euthanize it. Depends upon how they manage these situations and the extent of the deer's injury.

I hope this helps you and I am sorry you are in this position.

Let me know if you have further questions or concerns,

Stacie  

Wildlife

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