FERNDALE (WWJ) – Is Metro Detroit overpopulated by deer? It may appear so, but WWJ’s Zahra Huber reports — that’s actually not the case.

The deer are venturing out into urban areas such as downtown Ferndale and even business parking lots in Southfield.

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But Holly Vaughn with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the number of deer in the state is holding fairly steady at about 1.5 million. So why are we seeing so many more deer?

“I think it’s just a matter of feeling more comfortable in places where there are a lot of humans,” says Vaughn.

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Vaughn says a part of it is that people are leaving food out for the deer in their neighborhoods: “That can encourage deer … to stay in an area if they come to depend on that nice easy reliable food source.

“They are a very adaptable creature and they are becoming more habituated to human presence.”

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The bad side: with deer being in busier areas, they have a historically high number of vehicle-deer crashes in Oakland County.