Southwest Washington deer relocation completed, 10 died

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CATHLAMET — Despite moving fewer animals than planned and 20 percent of them dying, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are pleased with a recently completed effort to relocate endangered Columbian White-tail deer.

The Daily News reports biologists and volunteers trapped and relocated 49 deer from Wahkiakum County to two other locations, 16 fewer than their target. The mortality rate 10 deer -- two more than wildlife officials had projected would perish.

Julia Butler-Hansen refuge manager Jackie Ferrier says that despite best efforts, many of the animals had become wary of people.

In the past, floods at the refuge and elsewhere have taken a far greater toll on deer populations than the relocation did, killing as much as 30 percent 50 percent of the population on the refuge mainland.