Officials: Black bear causes death of 2 deer in WNC Nature Center exhibit

generic deer photo
generic deer photo(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 9:40 AM EDT
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - The City of Asheville announced the loss of two white-tailed deer at the WNC Nature Center.

City officials said the two deer, Becca and Curly, were found dead early in the morning last week. It appeared that a wild black bear entered their exhibit and “either directly or indirectly caused their passing”.

Becca was born in the summer of 2013 and was brought to the Nature Center as a fawn because she was too young to survive on her own. In 2017, she gained celebrity after starring in the Oscar-winning movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight), where she was trained by Nature Center staff to stand in front of a bluescreen.

In the summer of 2020, Curly joined Becca at the WNC Nature Center. Officials said he was born in 2012 and was kept illegally as a pet when he was a young fawn, so he was imprinted on humans.

Officials said since nature center’s opening, it has shared the park with wild black bears without incident.

“This was an unfortunate accident that has never before occurred within our animal collection,” shared Nature Center Director Chris Gentile. “While it’s a rare occurrence for something like this to happen, our Animal Care and Maintenance Teams have taken additional measures to dissuade and deter wild animals from entering our animal exhibits.”

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