Deer folly turns tragic

I had a story that seemed to be a barrell of laughs, until some hammerheads in the Pennsylvania Game Commission ruined it. It begins with a deer living in Southwest Philadelphia who decided to get some takeout fried chicken, in the neighborhood of 52nd and Baltimore (not that far from where I once lived, at 43rd and Chester). From NBC-10, via MSNBC:

A scared deer trapped four people in a Philadelphia restaurant for about an hour last night, before the people escaped through a basement hatch.

The deer darted into Royal Fried Chicken, a Southwest Philadelphia fast food restaurant, at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The unusual visitor quickly drew a crowd outside the restaurant.

Four people, including Shaahalmi, were trapped inside the restaurant for more than an hour. They locked themselves in a back room to stay away from the frightened deer until they escaped through the hatch.

“I was like ‘open the back door,’ and they opened the back door and then we ran in the back and started screaming and deer started trying to get back to the door where were at, attacking us,” said Tawana Coleman. “My heart just dropped. I never seen this before in my life. It was like a dream,” said Danaya Rousseau.

Police believe the buck came from Cobb’s Creek Park looking for food. The park is about 10 blocks away from the restaurant.

Police say the deer was seen around the neighborhood throughout the day.

Officers say they unsuccessfully tried to corral the buck a few blocks away from the restaurant. But the deer kept running and when the door to the restaurant was open, the deer ran right in.

The young buck was eventually tranquilized. It only suffered some scratches and was taken back to Cobbs Creek Park. Officials say the deer will be released back into the wild.

Great story, huh? I’ve got some pictures for you:

The deer inside Royal Fried Chicken

Police on the scene

The deer is waiting…

This is a 500-pound buck. Are you going to tell him to leave?

I somehow doubt the deer was “attacking” anyone. He was probably pretty scared. Still, I guess that 500 pounds of scared deer is pretty intimidating. But what should have been an amusing story about the city encroaching on nature became a sickening tale of bureaucratic cruelty. From NBC-10:

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials told NBC 10 on Thursday that a deer involved in a well-publicized incident at a local restaurant has been euthanized.

Originally, officials said the deer only suffered some scratches and was to be taken back to Cobbs Creek Park and released back into the wild.

However, the game official said the deer was put to sleep because archery deer season opens on Saturday, and there was the possibility that a hunter shooting that deer would get contaminated meat.

The game official also said the deer’s meat would not be safe to eat within 35 days of being tranquilized.

Deer Euthanized After Restaurant Adventure

People who know me would hardly identify me as some tree-hugger, but I think that this is outrageous. The deer wasn’t bothering anyone, and wasn’t hostile at all. If you look at the video, you can see that the deer is visibly frightened or at the very least out of breath.

Couldn’t they have let the otherwise-healthy deer spend a month in the zoo or on a farm or something? I wonder if the Pennsylvania Game Commission has ever heard the expression, “Throwing the baby out with the bathwater?” Let’s see…the meat might be unsafe to eat if a hunter happens to shoot this deer…let’s kill it just to be sure nothing bad happens.

If you think this was as needlessly stupid as I do, you can email the commissioner in charge of that district of Pennsylvania.

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