Most Lumby residents have gotten used to wildlife roaming the village, but there’s one special critter that has become a favourite for some, and a pest to others.
She loves attention, getting petted, giving kisses and sleeping with her pet cat. She roams freely around town and in the fields and forests nearby. And she always comes ‘home’ at night.
The deer was found curled up under a car crying and shivering two years ago.
“Fluffy was three days old when she came to us, either her mother got hit or never came back for her,” said Kyla Mcphate. “Fluffy lived outside in our orchard as a baby for the first week we had her, right where we found her.”
While it is not unusual for baby deer to be left alone by their mothers who later return to collect their baby, Mcphate said this one’s mom never came back. Her family contacted multiple wildlife rehabilitation centres, but none were willing to take her.
So, they took her in and bottle-fed her.
“We have tried our hardest to relocate Fluffy back into the wild and she has chosen to stay with us,” said Mcphate.
Fluffy grew up around all sorts of animals and babies, including batches of puppies she would sleep with outside to keep them warm. She grooms their pet cat and loves being cuddled by four-year-old Rebel, Mcphate’s little sister who has grown up with Fluffy.
Fluffy is free to roam but the deer comes back to her ‘home’ every night, and even gives her people kisses.
But like any other deer, Fluffy also enjoys roaming yards and eating plants.
This has left some locals unhappy with the deer, and resorting to unkind behaviour.
“There is no reason to hit her with a broom or chase her with sticks, just shoo her away,” said Mcphate. “She is a big part of our lives and we would be devastated to see something happen to our love. Please be kind and take this opportunity to be grateful to share our land with such an amazing creature.”
Fluffy has even become a bit of a celebrity around town, popping up in local shops and busy areas.
“I met Fluffy in town and was overjoyed when I got to pet her,” said Kirsten Blair. “Not every day you get to pet a deer, usually you watch from a distance.”
Fluffy even stopped into the hairdresser last month.
“She said she wanted to look like Betty Page. I told her I can’t work miracles. Clearly she wasn’t happy with my honesty,” joked Jesse Blades, owner of TheBeauty and TheBarber.
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North Okanagan Regional DistrictPetsWildlife