A deer that had been living in Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem was captured by the police today after wandering onto the lawn outside a nearby housing complex, and has been sentenced to death by the city.
The city had previously said it would leave the deer alone unless it were to get seriously injured or endanger humans, but after it apparently left the park—which it had been living in for about two weeks—a spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio's office said the deer would be exterminated. The deer's fate was first reported by the NY Times.
"NYPD captured the deer after learning it was trapped within a fenced-off area in a residential development and posing a risk to public safety," City Hall spokesperson Natalie Grybauskas told Gothamist. "The deer was brought to Animal Care & Control. We do not intend to release the deer back to the busy and dense borough of Manhattan."
City law prohibits the transportation of deer across county lines, meaning the deer can't be taken to less "busy and dense" boroughs, nor can it be sent to Long Island and or Westchester County, both of which have their own deer problems. Instead, the deer will be humanely euthanized, the Parks Department said.
Experts speculated that the deer had probably walked or swam to Manhattan from the Bronx in search of a mate, like so many young bucks before him. A Parks Department spokesperson advised park-goers who encountered the deer to refrain from feeding or approaching him.
In recent years, the city has struggled to curb a growing deer population on Staten Island, where strict gun and hunting restrictions have allowed deer to flourish. Earlier this year, the city began trapping and performing vasectomies on male deer, a policy which some experts called "really stupid."