A deer that was shot and killed by police after it had been hit by a car near High Park on Sunday “had a chance to live,” according to a woman who tended to the injured creature for nearly four hours. The deer was hit at around 7:38 a.m. on Coe Hill Dr., west of High Park. The driver was not injured, according to police.
“I’m sorry, I’m so upset that no one could come for it. It had a chance to live,” said a visibly emotional Trinity Hollis, minutes after police shot the deer.
The doe had a fawn, a baby with telltale white spots, said Hollis. Hollis said the fawn had escaped into a neighbour’s backyard, though police said they hadn’t been able to locate it.
Police, emergency medical services and animal services staff responded to the scene. Police closed off Coe Hill Dr. as they tried to secure medical help for the deer. They called the Toronto Zoo but their veterinarians were in surgery and unavailable.
Hollis and Liz Dumas-Walker tended to the deer, gently pressing cool compresses on its bloodied eyes and stroking it. A small crowd of concerned neighbours amassed on the street and tried to do their part, whether it was fetching coffee for one another or calling anyone and everyone they thought might be able to help.
Bystanders said they tried to reach veterinarians, local wildlife experts and animal refuge groups but no one was available to help. Hollis said a wildlife expert in Windsor advised her how to care for the deer in the meantime.
At around 11:15 a.m., a collective gasp issued from the bystanders as the doe clumsily lurched back then slowly rose to its feet. It stood in the middle of the road, head down, seemingly in shock. Police asked the crowd to back away then got on their cellphones and made some calls.
Minutes later, one officer slipped the hoop of a snare pole around the doe’s neck while three others threw a blanket over it. It is not clear whether the deer could not or would not walk, but it ended up on its side with police dragging it several metres down the pavement and behind a neighbour’s bushes. The crowd stared, stunned.
A shot rang out then, seconds later, another.
Police said they were advised to “dispatch” the deer after describing its condition to veterinarians.
The doe was shot twice in the chest, out of the public’s view, police said.
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