I had to smile at reports that three deer had a close encounter with Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter aircraft at RAF Coningsby recently.
Cute, I suppose, but animals on the runways and taxiways can be a real hazard. In flying around Africa for many years, I grew used to pilots of smaller aircraft (from 40-50 seat regional airliners to small 4- or 6-seat puddle-jumpers) having to "buzz" over the runway at very low altitude, to scare off animals grazing or resting there. Larger animals (of which Africa has a gracious plenty) would often be so used to this that they'd ignore the nasty buzzing creatures overhead, and go right on doing whatever they were doing. Only when the pilot was absolutely sure that there were no animals within "hazard range" could he proceed - and even then, a sudden unexpected run by an animal could lead to disaster. It's a not uncommon occurrence.
Miss D. assures me that the same thing has been known to happen in Alaska, where she learned to fly. She says even larger airliners, like Boeing 737's, sometimes have to "clear the runway" at more remote airports in that state before they can touch down. Apparently polar bears regard small aircraft filled with people in the same way that we'd regard a tin filled with delicious chunks of meat. Not a comforting thought, that!
I wonder how a jet fighter pilot in England would react to critters like that on the runway?