What happens when a frightened young doe wanders out of her usual range, and into the heart of downtown Toronto?
We call a dozen cops from the Emergency Task Force.
From the National Post:
Start with a dozen police constables. Add another dozen police from the Emergency Task Force in grey jumpsuits and bulletproof vests — armed with dart guns, Tasers and a big sort of fishing net — plus two vans from Animal Services and a senior veterinarian from the Toronto Zoo. Give them four hours: they will get the job done.
A busy street near Toronto City Hall bristled with these armed men this morning — all focused on a tiny plot of grass, trees and hedges next to a 15-storey building of medical labs, optometrists and dentists.
There sat a doe, two to three years old, about 90 kilograms. She turned her head from side to side, her pointed dark brown ears filled with the roar of the city. Around the deer fluttered yellow crime scene tape, tied from stop signs to bicycle locking rings. Ten photographers and TV cameramen trained their lenses on her.
The Globe and Mail mentioned that a few people were surprised at the amount of fire power on the scene.
One welder at a construction site across the street from the building, who didn’t want to be named, said the scene was startling at first.
“With the police there and the [ETF], I thought it was a bomb threat,” he said. “You think it’s pretty big. But then you hear ‘it’s a deer, it’s a deer.’”
But, hey – it’s not like they over reacted or anything. These are ferocious, wild creatures we’re dealing with here. Just ask Toronto Police Sergeant Winston Bennett.
“He’s a wild animal. Fairly big, fairly large. If it runs and hits a pedestrian, that’s something we need to think about.”
No sense taking chances when you’re dealing with a wild animal with this much potential for destruction, which totally explains the police response –
Around 11:30 a.m. ET, officers from the task force held up nets near where the deer had settled. With help from a veterinarian from the Toronto Zoo, it was shot with a tranquilizer gun. After being hit by the dart, the animal rose up and rushed into the street, approaching some of the officers.
That’s when an ETF officer tasered the animal, bringing it to the ground. Police and animal control officers surrounded the deer and trapped it in one of the nets. The deer, which wasn’t moving, was then placed in the back of a van.
Police superintendent Hugh Ferguson says the deer is still alive and is being handed over to animal control.
A vet was in the van to monitor the creature while it was being transported.
Anyway, before you go thinking that the Toronto Police over reacted, you should know that there is the distinct chance that the so called ‘deer’ was actually a cleverly disguised Pit Bull. Film footage of the very worried deer trying to take a nap is after the cut.