There have been many reports of deer charging people and their dogs in the Berkeley hills. Photo: Creative Commons

Violent crime has been decreasing in Berkeley in recent years — that is, when the perpetrators in question are humans. Wildlife is another matter. Two Berkeleyside readers recently reported incidents of deer charging at pedestrians in the Berkeley hills in late May. Animal Services confirms there have been multiple cases.

On May 29, a deer charged several times at a hiker at the intersection of Oak Path and Oak Street, said Berkeley Path Wanderers Association President Keith Skinner. The deer left the scene only when another person and a dog arrived.

The victim of the attack “called Animal Control and was told to avoid the area for the next few months, but it doesn’t seem that the city is taking any other precautionary steps to alert people,” wrote Skinner in an email to Berkeleyside.

And reader Carter Tomassi reported seeing signs tacked to a telephone pole on Arch Street about deer attacks.

Animal Services receives reports of charging deer every year, said Manager Kate O’Connor. “Usually they’ve got a baby, and usually they’re going after a dog,” she said.

While she didn’t offer any preemptive measures for avoiding violent deer in general, O’Connor said the department posts a sign warning people to stay away from the site of an attack for three weeks after an incident is reported.

“The mother will usually be pretty protective of her baby during that time period,” she said.

If you see, or are involved in such an incident involving a deer, call Berkeley Animal Services on 510-981-6600 to report it.

Exotic Muntjac deer loose, in danger in Cesar Chavez Park [11.03.11]
Berkeley police kill more deer than any other animal [04.25.11]
Deer in Berkeley: Up close, both dead and alive [06.08.10]
Deer attacks Berkeley woman and her dogs [05.07.10]

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Natalie Orenstein reports on housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. Natalie was a Berkeleyside staff reporter from early 2017 to May 2020. She had previously contributed to the site since 2012,...