Wild deer share apple with man in the forest
There is a beautiful forest near Peterborough, Ontario where the deer are protected from harm and from predators. Although they don't often interact with people, they have become accustomed to seeing them from a distance. They have learned that people have no interest in harming them or hunting them and they have less fear than most wild deer would have. If you are quiet and still, the deer will wander past without running away when they see you. And occasionally, they will approach with curiosity. This man sat patiently, munching on an apple and waited to see what would happen. A group of five deer appeared in the distance, making their way cautiously through the forest. They moved silently and took turns walking ahead and sniffing. They could be seen communicating with subtle movements of their ears and tails, reassuring each other that there was no danger. They paused often and sniffed the air.
Making very little sound, aside from the crunching of the apples, this man sat and watched, moving very slowly and not looking directly at the deer. Slowly, they came closer, curious about the smell of the apples. When one deer came close enough, he threw a few chunks of apple in front of him. Two small GoPro cameras recorded the deer as it ventured closer. The lure of the delicious snack was eventually enough to make one deer walk right up in front of the man to share. It was wary and kept an eye on him much of the time, but after a few minutes it became certain that he would cause no harm. The deer began to walk around and she even stopped staring directly at this human. As she became more confident, her tail flicked rapidly and a fawn appeared, also curious about what its mother was doing.
To see a deer so close is a treat. To spend ten minutes almost within reach of a deer in the tranquility of an isolated forest, is a peaceful and beautiful experience. Animals are able to sense our anxiety or excitement more easily than we think. Because their survival requires that they are perfectly in tune with the body language and non verbal cues of others in their herd, they are extremely adept at interpreting our movements, our eye contact, our head positions, and even our breathing. Even though they do not speak, animals are experts at communication.