Berkeley woman, dogs attacked by aggressive deer

May 6, 2010 11:58:36 PM PDT
There was a bizarre encounter in the Berkeley Hills Thursday afternoon where a woman says she and her dogs were attacked by an aggressive deer. The incident happened around lunchtime at the intersection of Colusa and Capistrano avenues.

Sarah Lopus said the deer in the Berkeley Hills are known for being aggressive, but she never expected what she ran into.

Lopus was walking with her dogs "Oliver" and "Lucy" when it happened.

She said the deer came out of nowhere and charged at them. The deer started kicking the dogs, so Sarah jumped in to defend them.

"So I tried to shove the deer and get it off and it wouldn't stop so then I got down and covered the dogs up to protect them and then the deer started kicking me and it ripped my shirt off and was stomping and kicking. I pushed it off and we tried to run away and it chased us down the street and then I was screaming for help and some neighbors came and rescued us. They got in between us and the deer," said Lopus.

The pads on Oliver's paws were ripped open when Sarah dragged him down the street. Oliver is on pain medication and is doing OK. Lucy is fine.

Sarah has a puncture wound on her leg and the doctor is looking into whether she will need rabies treatments.

The California Department of Fish and Game said if this deer is caught, they will likely have to take the most severe action, since releasing a deer that attacks an animal is not the proper protocol.

"When a deer actually attacks a human being or a domestic animal, or a person walking their dog in this instance, those animals are a threat to public safety and they are most often killed as a result in order to protect the public from future harm," said Patrick Foy from the Department of Fish and Game.

A baby deer was killed over the weekend by Oakland police officers, but the neighborhood was outraged over that killing. The officers shot the young deer six or seven times when the deer was backed into a corner of someone's backyard. It hadn't hurt anyone and didn't appear to be injured or aggressive.

The Oakland police chief has apologized for the killing and has promised to review the department's policies and procedures to make sure this doesn't happen again.

In contrast, the deer in Berkeley was very aggressive and officials say it needs to be dealt with before it hurts someone else.


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