Commuters on a bridge that opened in October saw a herd of deer run across the roadway and jump, falling 30 feet.
Drivers in Iowa saw the deer run in front of their vehicles, hoping they would turn back. Instead, the deer hopped over the wall, seemingly not realizing the long drop they were headed for.
A couple on the road took cellphone video and tried to slow down others behind them on the road, in hopes that the deer would take a different route. Instead, they caught what looked like an unknowing suicide and posted the video to Facebook.
The bridge opened with various changes to traffic patterns, according to a report by The Gazette. Those patterns could have thrown off the deer that didn’t realize they were high above street level.
“The bridge there is brand new,” said conservation officer Ron Lane. “I’m guessing the deer aren’t used to that, with all of the construction going on.”
Denny Benyshek described the moment he saw the deer on the road.
“We were driving slow by them,” said Benyshek. “The buck was leading the whole time—then he just bolts straight east. The three doe followed him over.”
Benyshek returned to the site later but the deer that led the pack over the wall, the buck, was missing.
The Des Moines Register mentions how hunters could have disoriented the deer. Iowa is in the middle of deer shotgun hunting season. The deer may have been trying to escape lurking hunters.
Some commenters to the video posted on Facebook joked that the deer thought they were Santa Claus’s flying deer.
“They thought they had magical power they were going back up to the North Pole but that was their cousins,” commented Ronald Snyder.
Other commenters said they would collect the deer meat from the road below to eat it.
“I would’ve been under the bridge bringing home a ton of cube steak, hamburgers, back strap and jerky. Maybe some pot roast,” commented Matthew Roach.
“Don’t let it go to waste. I would be on the phone with fish and wildlife getting them to come watch the video so I could take the meat,” commented Adam Dimitri Lowell.
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