Ever since the viral success of his 2016 video “Money and the Deer Squad,” in which he befriends a parcel of Bambis in his Pennsylvania hometown, Kelvin Peña has emerged as something of a Dr. Dolittle for the Instagram age. Under the name BROTHER NATURE the 21-year-old animal whisperer has amassed 2.7 million followers for his wholesome selfies with baby pigs, giant tortoises, Malaysian monkeys, and, of course, his beloved Canela,“the most savage doe you’ll ever know.”(Canela, mother of Carmen, has her own Instagram account with 307,000 followers.) Here, Peña offers a few easy tips on how to bag a Cervidae companion.
STEP 1: Remove all fear from your heart. Animals can sense our vibes. If you’re afraid, the animal will sense that, and you will give it a reason to not trust you—or worse, to act out. You can’t be out here moving panicky and not expect the animal todo the same. You get what you put out.
STEP 2: Have an incentive for the deer. Deer normally spend their lives foraging, taking care of their families, or playing in the woods. They are prey animals, so they normally live their lives in fear. You need to have something on you that would make them want to fuck with you.
STEP 3: Name the deer. Once you’re vibing with it, give the dear a name based on its personality, just like you would your pet. For instance, when I first met Canela, I could tell she was sweet like cinnamon, but could also have a spicy side to her. Which she does. That’s why she’s Canela the Savage.
STEP 4: Feed the homies. When you make a new friend, you know that they’re most likely going to have their own squad. Although they may not trust you at first, toss them some delicious snacks to make them feel comfortable. If you do it right, when your deer’s friend asks them what they thought about you, they’ll probably be like, “He was coo.”
STEP 5: Grow the brand. If you really want to take it to the next level, make your deer an Instagram account and clout that shit up. Make ’em poppin’ on the ’gram so they can really feel that you respect their identity. In the wise words of Offset and Cardi B, “They do anything for clout.”
This article appears in the March 2020 issue of Interview magazine. Subscribe here.