A news reporter in rural Queensland was surprised to discover that feral chital deer love the night life, finding a herd of at least 20 animals walking the footpaths of Moranbah one night.
A stag was spotted hiding in the shadows, but the does in the herd were happy to walk out in the open, with several running in front of a passing car during the encounter.
The reported ended up photographing an entire herd walking the urban streets of Queensland.
When the photos appeared on Facebook, they received mixed reactions from readers and ignited a vigorous debate, with many people calling for the animals to be culled. Some people, however, enjoy the presence of these animals in townships.
One local resident, Dwayne James Chanter-Baum, remarked, “I love seeing these running around town. At least they don’t leave there rubbish all over the roadside and destroy people’s letter boxes on the way home from the Nugget. Now that’s feral.”
Another commenter, Glenn McIntosh said, “Chital are on the list of deer as vermin, they will become Australia’s next major problem if they are not managed correctly and soon.”
Unlike most states in Australia, deer have been declared a pest animal in Queensland, which means that landowners are required to control populations on their property.
There are now at least 30,000 wild deer in Queensland, belonging to four different species: red, rusa, chital and fallow. The climate of most areas in Queensland are suitable for colonization by chital deer, provided that there is water available in those regions.
All photos via Facebook/ABC Tropical North.