From: Philip St. George, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY – Anna Waller says that deer are her friends.
As a long-time North Bay resident living on Bolton St., Anna feels attached to the local deer population.
“Steve (Anna’s husband) and I feed the deer regularly, and have been for almost twenty years,” explains Waller. “You get to know them after a while.”
Anna says that’s why she’s modifying N95 masks for deer to use.
“We read about deer in the south testing positive for COVID-19, and thought we can help. So we started making masks for them.”
Waller’s Keen I-Deer
The modified masks, which fit easily over a deer’s head, will hopefully protect wildlife from the virus.
“The trick was to add an extra loop at the top so their little ears could poke through,” smiles Waller. “For the bucks, we made a clip so the mask goes right around their antlers.”
But how hard is it to get a mask on a wild deer?
“It’s not hard at all,” says Waller. “We’ve been feeding them so long that they’re used to us. We just get a little closer until they let us pet them. Then we put on the mask.”
Anna shows a picture of two deer with her modified masks on.
“If they’re friendly enough you can get the masks around their heads no problem. I like to pour some feed in the mask too, as a reward.”
Waller says the deer seem to appreciate her efforts. “A lot come back often to see us. They get right up close so we can adjust the straps and feed them a little.”
“I think a lot of them were living in fear of Covid, because now they’re always so playful. They jump around so much and run. It’s just amazing to see.”