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Posting caused panic about deer

Of course, it’s easy. Of course it’s fast. Of course, it’s going to attract lots of attention.

But, oh dear, what a complicated mess.

Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm learned that firsthand when a post on social media in September bemoaned the condition of the deer on the brewery grounds.

Yes, they look scraggly. That’s how deer look in the fall when they shed their summer coats.

Instead of calling the brewery to inquire about the health of the penned-in deer, the concerned person took to social media instead, posting that the deer looked thin and unhealthy and then asked people to bring food for the buck, does and fawns.

Good intentions ran amok quickly. Fellow animal lovers heard the call — and dumped lots of inedible trash into the pen, including plastic, paper, chicken meat with bones and a beef burrito still wrapped in plastic, according to the brewery.

Employees then had to gather up the garbage by entering the pens, which is dangerous during mating season because when bucks are in heat, they get very aggressive.

A New Ulm animal control officer inspected the deer and their conditions and reported the animals appeared to be healthy but slightly skinny. He concluded the does, which had multiple fawns this year, are still nursing and the fact that the deer were being dewormed could be causing the weight issues.

The officer had no concerns the deer were being improperly cared for. The brewery provides the deer with a certified commercial deer food in addition to grains, alfalfa and a de-wormer feed.

Schell’s summarized the situation on a Facebook post and said public concern about the deer often arises every fall as the animals’ coats are in transition in preparation for winter. The brewery, which has had deer on the grounds for 159 years, diplomatically voiced its appreciation for the concern but outlined all the steps its takes to ensure a healthy herd.

It was a herd mentality that resulted in the inappropriate public feeding of the deer, but hopefully the public paid attention to the explanation and will think twice before stampeding to social media and causing a panic.

— The Free Press of Mankato

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