Drivers Stop to Help Baby Deer in Springfield Township (video)

Renaissance_Unity_Brown_TopDrivers Stop RB_04to Help Baby Deer in Springfield Township (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 24, 2016)

Springfield Twp., MI – This kind of thing probably happens all the time, especially in northern Oakland County, but experiencing a group of strangers coming together to act quickly, get messy, and save an animal in distress was a pretty incredible experience.

Though reporters generally should just document happenings, sometimes we are compelled to act. So this story is in first person.

At about 9 in the morning of June 16 I was driving on Holly Road just west of I-75 when a driver coming eastbound started swerving and blinking their lights.  This alerted me to the fact that traffic behind him was stopped about eight cars deep, and in the lane ahead of me a baby deer was running full force towards my car.  I stopped, grabbed my camera and waited, thinking it might come right up over my hood.

garden16_mindy_domkeInstead the creature slowed down and came right to my driver’s side door and looked at me with it’s big scared fawn eyes.

Quickly I pulled to the right shoulder and jumped back in the road and grabbed the deer while people in the cars cheered and some got out to help.

It took a few moments of wresting to get the best grip on the deer, bring it to the ground to hold it, and calm it by holding it’s neck.  I called 911 with one hand but ended up giving the phone to one of the guys because I had to hold the deer.  After telling State Police where we were, I had one of the men grab a blanket out of my car and we covered the deer.  I continued to hold it, and struggle with it in spurts, while he and the other guy searched for options.  A woman from the Oakland County Road Commission also pulled up and called her boss.

I already had a feeling our options were limited.  When a deer had made its home in Pleasant Ridge in 2014, I and a bunch of people in the community, m1_two toneexplored options, researched municipal reactions to deer in populated areas etc.

Realizing that no one was rushing out to help, after about 20 minutes we decided the best bet was to send the deer into the woods and away from the road.  The deer had been injured, with a cut across its forehead.  I had passed what I presume was the baby’s mother dead on the side of the road a little further up the hill.  But the baby was feisty.  Maybe it had a chance.

The woman from the Road Commission and the two gentlemen formed a human shield and were ready to block the deer if it went towards the road.  Our intent was to let it up and scare it off into the woods.

I took the blanket off and backed away. The deer jumped and fretted for a moment and wobbled a few steps away.  “Go, go” we said.  But the deer just BubbleTea Adcame back to me like a sweet dog.

This may sound cute, but when you’re standing on the side of the road with cars rushing by and you know this deer needs to have caution, not attraction, to people and cars, it was kind of a frustrating feeling.  So I walked with the deer for a bit, then behind it, pushing it on a bit by the rear, and finally it walked on without looking back.

Everyone left, as did I.  I drove into town and bought an apple and an ear of corn just in case the deer came back to the road and I had to lure it away better. But when I returned to check on it, it was gone.  I am presuming it’s okay, but realistically who knows.

The others took off while I was heading back, so I didn’t get their names, but I am very glad they stopped to help.

This is part of the reason why Oakland County is so great.  Wherever you go there are people that care and will pitch in when needed.  The wildlife here is pretty neat too.

Read more deer-related stories at http://oaklandcounty115.com/?s=deer.

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