Blue Line

B.C. police chief struck by deer recovering from broken bones

OAK BAY, B.C. — The police chief of the Vancouver Island community of Oak Bay has undergone surgery for a broken clavicle and ribs after he was attacked by a deer.

October 4, 2017  By The Canadian Press

Deputy chief Ray Bernoties said chief Andy Brinton was riding his bicycle on Salt Spring Island on Sunday when a deer came charging out of the forest.

Bypassers helped the chief, whose helmet was dented when he went flying off his bike on a paved road, Bernoties said.

He said Brinton had surgery Monday night and was in pain Tuesday but is expected to make a full recovery.

“Knowing him, he’ll want to get back on that bike,” Bernoties said.


Conservation officer Scott Norris said deer tend to become aggressive toward humans around rutting season but it’s not yet that time on Salt Spring so the animal that confronted Brinton may have been startled.

He said a higher deer population on other parts of Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich, means the animals are seen in various neighbourhoods.

“If you drive around Greater Victoria are you going to see deer everywhere you go? Yep, there’s a lot of deer,” he said.

“Once you get deer moving into a populated area and realizing just how much food there is in people’s gardens and the fact that there’s a lack of predators chasing them you’re going to get more saying, ‘Hey, wait a second, this is a pretty good place to live.”’

Many deer are injured or killed by vehicles but programs to manage them are usually divisive and hunting isn’t allowed in urban areas, Norris said.

“It’s a very polarizing subject if you’re going to ask people who live in Greater Victoria about should we do something about it or not,” he said.

Norris said most of the land on Salt Spring Island is privately owned, not Crown land, so there isn’t much hunting there to control the deer population.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017

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