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California in Brief | ORANGE COUNTY

Toll of deer killed by motorists rises

December 06, 2007|Jennifer Delson

Deer foraging for food after the recent wildfires are being killed in record numbers by automobiles because they are leaving denuded hills and approaching roads, authorities said Wednesday.

Motorists have killed 21 deer in Orange County canyon areas since the Santiago fire in October, said Ryan Drabek, spokesman for Orange County Animal Care Services. That brings the number of injuries and deaths this year to 85, compared with 59 in 2006 and 40 in 2005.

California Highway Patrol officials Wednesday received several calls about deer on the northbound Foothill Tollway.

Drabek warned motorists in the areas of Santiago and Modjeska canyons to drive slowly.

"It's something we need to adjust to for the next couple of months as vegetation grows back," he said.

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-- Jennifer Delson

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