Time almost ran out for a rare white-tailed deer that had been living in a Harlem park for several days. On Friday, the city planned to euthanize the buck after police captured it inside of Jackie Robinson Park. The deer had drawn national attention after he wandered into the Polo Grounds Towers apartment complex two weeks ago.
How the buck came to be in the area remains a mystery, but it has been rumored that Harlem residents had cared for him as a fawn and the buck was accustomed to humans and swam back to Manhattan to find the people who raised him, searching for food or to find a mate.
According to Abc7News, the city originally said euthanizing the deer, currently being held in an East Harlem animal shelter, was “the only humane and safe recourse. The deer was brought to Animal Care and Control,” stated a spokesperson from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office. It wasn’t long before animal lover, Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Thursday offering assistance to relocate the deer. State regulations however preclude deer from being transported across county lines accept for scientific purposes because of their low survival rates. Still the governor had no intentions of giving up and the “buck stopped here.”
Around noon on Friday, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the regulatory body for wild animals, announced the decision to relocate the deer to upstate New York.
“Although survival rates for relocated deer are low and transport is a great stressor, DEC is the regulatory body here. The state has seen fit in this instance to transport the deer.
On Friday morning radio, Blasio tried to explain why he favored euthanizing the buck stating it was too difficult to relocate the animal. And despite the public outcry he stood firm on his decision stating:
“A deer does not belong in the middle of an urban neighborhood. The deer could not be left where they are. It could not be left in the streets of Harlem. I’m sorry. That is just absolutely unacceptable and dangerous.”
Good luck Bambi. We hope you can find a new home in the forest where you will be safe. Many thanks to Governor Cuomo for his compassion.
(Photo of white-tailed deer screenshot via Facebook)
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