An incident at the East Liberty Post Office may delay today’s deliveries for people in the Squirrel Hill, East Liberty, Shadyside and Homewood areas. Around 9:30 am, a deer was reportedly roaming in the post office’s parking lot located at 6360 Broad St.
“911 called and said that the deer wasn’t hurt but caught in the parking lot and people were afraid to drive or get into their cars,” said Dave Madden, Pittsburgh Animal Care and Control’s supervisor. The city-based service dispatched a truck with two officers, “who have between them more than 60 years’ experience,” to control the situation.
What the officers discovered was a deer that was “running into cars and crashing into the building,” said Madden.
Despite attempts to redirect the deer out of the parking lot, the animal did not comply.
“The deer ran itself into exhaustion,” said Madden.
At that point, the Pittsburgh Police intervened.
“The police shot it dead,” said Madden.
Euthanizing the animal was the most humane option, said the director, as animal control is not equipped or permitted to relocate the deer. Given the limited size of the service’s vehicles, legal restrictions and health risks involved in relocation, “the best thing we can do is to humanely euthanize it.”
As for the city trucks, which are more suited for rodents or smaller sized animals, “there’s no way to get a deer in one of those if you’re transporting an animal that big,” he explained.
Additionally, due to fears of spreading chronic wasting disease among herds, only the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is permitted to relocate a deer, said Madden. “You can actually infect a whole population. That’s why we can’t relocate it.”
According to Madden, the control board lacked a nearby warden to dispatch to the scene, and the zoo, whose vets were involved in a surgery operation, was unable to help.
Deer are unpredictable animals and capable of great danger, Madden reminded people.
“They are wild animals and may charge you. People have been gored. Deer can raise up on their back legs and come down with both of their front legs, or body slam you,” he said. “People should always call us, the City of Pittsburgh, and not engage a wild deer.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org