A small herd of deer became a jarring sight in the urban landscape of Union Hill last week. Four or five of them raced up the sidewalk of Venable Street on Thursday afternoon, crossing 21st Street and proceeding up the center of the road on Venable.
Several people stopped to watch near the Roaring Pines home goods store at 21st and Venable. It was an incongruous scene, but the phenomenon may be getting more common. Last year, National Geographic published a story called Feral Cities: How Animals Are Going Urban Like Never Before. The report cited less hunting, readily available suburban food sources and a changing climate that are expanding species’ range.
In Richmond, a Department of Game and Inland Fisheries spokesman says it’s possible that the deer could have wandered into the East End neighborhood from near the James River.
Last June, a black bear was found wandering in nearby Mosby Court. Wildlife officials said that it was common for male cubs, leaving their mothers, to be found in strange places. The bear was released into a wooded area south of Richmond and no one was harmed.