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DNR Will Trap And Remove Collar From Remaining Bloomington Deer

A photo of a deer in Bloomington wearing a tracking collar as part of a Ball State/DNR study.

A deer in Bloomington wearing a tracking collar as part of a Ball State/DNR study. (WFIU/WTIU News File)

There's only one deer still wearing a potentially deadly tracking collar from a study meant to track the mortality rates of Bloomington deer.

That's according to an official with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, who says the agency will work with the city's Animal Control to track the deer and remove its collar. 

There are two known cases of Bloomington deer that have been killed by the tracking collars.

Bloomington resident Eric Sandweiss asked WFIU last month to look into why he had found a dead deer in his south side backyard that seemed to have been killed by a too-tight collar around its neck. 

READ MORE: Faulty Collars Blamed For Deer Deaths In Bloomington

The collar was from a 2016-2018 Ball State University/DNR study that aimed to track Bloomington's urban deer and compare their death rates to those of rural deer.

WFIU listeners responded to the City Limits story about the collared deer, wanting to know more about the study and wondering why some deer were still collared.

READ MORE: Collared Deer In Bloomington: Your Questions, Answered

DNR spokesman James Brindle says the agency became aware of potential problems in early November 2019, when it was notified of a deer with a too-tight collar.

"The issue is that we did not expect the deer to live longer than the material of the collar," Brindle says.

He says if the deer had appeared to be in poor health, the department would have trapped and euthanized the animal. That deer later died of collar-related issues.

According to Brindle, tranquilizing the deer, removing its collar and releasing it was not an option at that point because it was still deer hunting season, and a hunter could potentially have killed and eaten that deer after its release. 

Now that hunting season is over, Brindle says, that risk is gone. 

He advises anyone who spots the one remaining collared deer to notify Bloomington Animal Control or the DNR, using a link on the agency's website.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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