The deer population managed to avoid losing one of its own thanks to the kindness of midwestern Ohioans. After spotting a deer with a large, plastic Halloween pumpkin attached to its head, the community came together to save its life. Now their teamwork means this deer will get to keep living.
It was starting to look like this deer was done for. Deer are notoriously skittish, and the orange, plastic pumpkin bucket typically designed for children to collect Halloween treats had effectively become a muzzle over his snout.
The deer couldn’t eat, or drink water, and he was starting to grow weak.
— WCPO (@WCPO) October 30, 2017
Those who saw the deer around town in Anderson Township estimate he went at least three or four days without food or water.
People were worried about the deer, so members of the community decided to help and take action. Daryl Meyerrenke of the Anderson Township Family Pet Center wrote in a Facebook post that he was inundated with calls from people telling him they’d seen the deer and asking him for advice.
He warned them that it might be dangerous if they approached it. None of the callers seemed fazed by the warning, or had an apparent intention to heed his it.
“Despite the danger, these determined residents were able to converge on the deer after following it up and down hills for many hours,” Meyerrenke said.
They eventually managed to get the deer surrounded.
The residents of the town eventually entrapped the deer in a human circle. If it wanted to run away, it was going to have to break through a line of people intent on saving its life. But after several hours of giving chase, and days without food or water, it hadn’t the energy to protest.
Using catch poles to control the deer, they tightened the circle until they were finally able to tackle it and pull the pumpkin off of its nose. Meyerrenke’s son, Aaron, was the one who actually pulled the pumpkin off the animal’s nose.
The equipment used to capture the deer was provided by Bonnie Morrison from Second Chance Wildlife Rescue. In addition to her professional know-how, many other volunteers from around Anderson Township were on hand to lend their time and energy.
One man who followed the deer says his FitBit logged a total distance of four miles walked.
Eye-witnesses say that the deer ran straight for the water after having the plastic pumpkin taken off its head. It started grazing and drinking water immediately, something it hadn’t been able to do in a number of days.
Without the courage and kindness of the Anderson Township residents, this deer wouldn’t have been able to live; it likely would have died of starvation or dehydration within one or two more days. Instead, it’s a happy ending and she’ll be able to show up in backyards in the early hours of the morning again for a long, long time.
Strangely, this isn’t the first time a deer in Ohio has got its head stuck in a pumpkin bucket!
In 2014, residents of Mentor, Ohio, also helped free a deer that had spent six days with an orange plastic pumpkin stuck over its snout. The rescue was remarkably similar, when a local teen, Cameron Merritt, football tackled the deer and knocked the pumpkin off, according to news reports.