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Video of young girl's attempt to pet wild deer sparks online debate: 'Leave these animals alone'

It's important for parents to teach their children to respect wildlife.

It's important for parents to teach their children to respect wildlife.

Photo Credit: Reddit

In the subreddit r/Whatcouldgowrong, a Redditor posted a video of a young girl getting up close and personal with a doe.

In the clip, the young girl, holding an ice cream cone in one hand, sticks out her hand to the doe, which stands on its hind legs and swings at the girl. 

"She hit Leena," someone behind the camera exclaims. While it appears the girl was not seriously harmed, the video sparked a debate. 

WCGW offering ice cream to a deer
byu/Souled_Out inWhatcouldgowrong

"That deer is wearing a collar. It's not wildlife. It's someone's pet," one commenter posted.

However, many other Reddit users were quick to point out that the doe's collar might be used for tracking purposes by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or another wildlife management group. Tagging is vital for scientists and researchers to track animals and plan conservation efforts. 

"Tracking individual animals in real-time conditions is so valuable," Jorge Brenner, associate director of marine science for The Nature Conservancy in Texas, told PBS.

Though scientists use tagging to track many different species of animals, it's important for them and other humans to have little contact with the animals afterward. 

The young girl is far from the only instance of someone getting too close to an animal. Many humans have endangered themselves and animals for selfies, with moose, elk, and even lions.

Wildlife is vital to the balance of our natural world. Some animals help pollinate plants or eliminate invasive species. To ensure we maintain safety for all, it's crucial for us to respect all wildlife by keeping our distance and not feeding animals.

In many cases, children project human qualities on animals, so it's important for parents to teach their children to respect wildlife.

Many users in the Reddit thread hoped this would help deter the young girl from interacting with wild animals in the future, not only for her own safety, but for the safety of wildlife as well.

"Great learning experience," one user commented. "Now mom and daughter respect nature a bit more."

"Those hoofs are as sharp as a blade they will cut your face! Leave these animals alone. Humans are the best and worst thing this planet has to offer," commented another user.

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