Dining, Shopping, and Home Invasion – Wild Deer Break-Ins

There’s been a string of odd deer stories in the news lately. It seems that the cold weather has deer on their feet and moving about, and since hunting seasons have wound down across most of the country, the deer have gotten bold.

Imagine you’re a deer and you’ve successfully survived hunting season. Naturally, you would want to celebrate – maybe go out to dinner. Right? Well, that might have been what happened in a recent incident in Albany, Georgia.

The Albany Herald reports that a 1.5-year-old doe recently broke through the glass window of a Pizza Hut and ran around inside the restaurant. Bryan Vickery, an employee with the Georgia DNR explained that, “It’s not uncommon for a deer to see a dark plate glass as an area he can enter, or it could see its own reflection and thinks it’s another deer.” Unfortunately the deer was lacerated quite badly from breaking through the plate glass window, and despite the DNR’s best efforts, the deer died from its injuries.

Deer Inside Store

Deer break-in’s can result in any number of injury’s both to the animal and those that happen to be in the vicinity when the accident occurs.

But that’s nothing compared to another recent, and also tragic, deer break-in story. A wild white-tailed deer wandered into DC’s Smithsonian National Zoo and jumped into a cheetah enclosure. You can imagine what happened next. A zoo spokesman reports two zookeepers heard a commotion in the cheetah’s pen, and upon checking things out they found a deer carcass next to cheetah siblings, named Carmelita and Justin. It’s likely that the deer came from the nearby Rock Creek Park neighborhood, which is overpopulated with deer.

A third deer break-in story comes from Warren, MN. Chad and Leigh smith were returning to their home after vacation, but upon entering they found their house ransacked. At first they thought they had been burglarized, but Chad quickly spotted a whitetail doe relaxing in the living room. The deer saw Chad and made an ever bigger mess, “When she saw me, that’s when she went nuts, running into the wall, hitting the TV, hitting the windows,” said Chad. “It looked like a small murder scene with blood all over the windows, the floor, the furniture, the TV.”

Finally, we have a story out of Wetumpka, Alabama, where a deer crashed into a thrift store. Once again, the deer jumped through a window, presumably after seeing its own reflection, and made its way through the clothing section. Employees from the sporting goods section (of course!) were able to pin the deer down and get it out of the store. The deer, obviously dazed, stumbled away and ran into a dumpster before continuing to flee the shopping center.

All joking about post-hunting season parties aside, incidents like these obviously speak of over-population issues and the consequences of deer losing their natural instinct to flee from humans. What’s the wildest human-deer encounter that you’ve experienced or heard of?

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