A buck was to be euthanized after wandering into Manhattan.
Earlier this week, we told you about the young whitetail buck that somehow wandered his way over into Manhattan and found himself in a small park in Harlem.
The young buck quickly became a viral sensation for no reason other than deer aren't normally seen there. "You can tell we are all city folk because we are out here with our cameras and we're like 'It's a deer!'" one woman told a local news station.
But when the buck was captured by animal control and was reported Thursday be slated for euthanization, it set off a disagreement between the state and city. The New York Times reports one of the big issues here is that state guidelines required a permit to relocate it into the wild. That would mean the only option was to release the deer back where it came from (into the city) or put it down.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo got involved in the issue and called on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to help relocate the animal, something the city was opposed to.
"The state's position was that euthanization was the preferred route," a city spokeswoman told reporters. "Later, the state reversed years of their own policy and offered to help relocate the deer...The state itself has said it is not safe to relocate the deer - and so the only humane and safe recourse is to euthanize the deer, and that will happen in the morning."
Eventually the two sides finally reached an agreement to move the animal, but by the time they did, it was too late. The buck had died from the heavy stress of being in captivity.
Both the city and state blamed each other for the animal's death. "Because of the length of time we had to wait to pick up the deer, the deer has died," Parks Department spokesman Sam Biederman told reporters.
That prompted the state to release their own statement on the controversy.
"We offered yesterday to take possession of the deer and transport it to a suitable habitat," DEC spokesman Sean Mahar said in a statement. "The city did not accept our offer until just before noon today, and while we were arriving on scene the deer died in the city's possession."
The internet meanwhile, has decided to make the deer the newest "Harambe the gorilla" type of incident, in reference to the gorilla that was shot dead in the Cincinnati Zoo back in May to protect a small boy who had fallen into the animal's enclosure.
The reactions were about what one might expect.
— Greg Baumann (@glbaumann) December 16, 2016
#harlemdeer, a real White-Tailed Buck, died while in police custody. What even is 2016 anymore?
— Jimmy Time (@TimeCommander) December 16, 2016
— Ryan Broems (@ryanbroems) December 16, 2016
One thing is for sure, this flavor-of-the day tourist attraction certainly came to a quick and most ugly end.