A combination of faulty risk assessment and bio-bigotry was displayed by the tender treatment of the deer that recently infiltrated my neighborhood. Deer are this country's most deadly wild animal, currently killing more than 200 Americans a year (more than double the toll of 15 years ago (1993)). And they seriously injure and sicken uncounted more.
The toll from other wild animals pales in comparison: Bees (average of 40 deaths) and rattlesnakes (12) are the next biggest killers.
The deer's most deadly tactic is the night-time ambush along a lonely stretch of road, but they also stage brazen attacks on busy interstates. My housemate is a survivor of three such horrifying incidents.
In addition to these suicide attacks, deer are engaged in a massive biological warfare program. They incubate untold tons of pathogens, such as Lyme Disease, and possess abundant delivery systems ideally suited for surreptitiously distributing these diseases: ticks.
Who knows what the human toll would be if it weren't for vigilant mountain lions quietly neutralizing tens of thousands of these killer deer before they complete their nefarious missions?
Yet, because mountain lions inadvertently kill 1-2 people a year as a result of mistaking them for deer, they are routinely killed upon innocently venturing into populated areas, while the dangerous deer are set free.
Felix Sylvester Palmer (as told to Douglas B. Moran)
Palo Alto, California
May 2008 (update of version of May 2004)