Central Ohio deer stuck in pumpkin prison

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Doug Davis says he sees deer all the time on his property, but on Saturday he noticed one that stuck out from the herd.

“We found that not only is it a plastic pumpkin, but the black strap that the kids would hold the trick or treat pumpkin with is wrapped around its ear or its head,” he said.

Davis snapped some photos and called the Ohio Wildlife Center’s SCRAM (Suburban Commercial and Residential Animal Management) crew.

“These pumpkins appear to fit deer heads a little too perfectly,” says Casey Philips, hospital director for the OWC.

They’ve been trying to get close to the young buck for the last couple of days.

“It’s like a giant backyard rabbit. It’s going to be very hard for us to catch it unless we have any upper hand,” said Philips, who adds that at this point the deer still appears to be healthy. “If this is actually preventing him from eating or drinking, we should see him slow down and that would give us an opportunity to help him out."

SCRAM will continue monitoring the deer’s condition and is asking people to stay away from it for now, and to not attempt to catch the animal.

“The more people that approach, the more difficult our job can get.”

Davis hopes that he never sees another animal like this on his property and wants people to remember we’re sharing the neighborhood with wildlife.

“As the people and the animals share the habitat I just think it’s important to clean up after ourselves and hide all the hazards we can,” said Davis.

The Ohio Department of Wildlife says it’s possible that the deer will eventually be able to free itself at some point and they don’t plan to use a tranquilizer on the animal. They say that animals don’t immediately fall when a dart is deployed, and they’re concerned the deer could end up running into nearby traffic.

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