Nova Scotia

Deer drowns after 5 days wandering DND property in downtown Sydney

A deer that died Wednesday was one of two that entered the front gate of the Victoria Park armouries in downtown Sydney, N.S., on Saturday. The property is fenced and encompasses a large green space.

A second deer jumped a fence and escaped into nearby woods

This deer was one of two that spent five days wandering the property at the Victoria Park armouries in Sydney. (George Mortimer/CBC)

A deer that wandered a Department of National Defence property in downtown Sydney, N.S., for several days has died after running into the local harbour Wednesday and drowning.

Two deer entered the front gate of the Victoria Park armouries on Sydney's Esplanade on Saturday. The property is fenced and encompasses a large green space.

"I guess they saw all the nice fresh green grass there and wanted to go for a little snack," said Warrant Officer Joshua Clowe, the detachment commander at Victoria Park.

The pair stayed for more than a snack. They remained for four nights, wandering the property and attracting lots of attention.

Michael Maclean said a lot of people came to the area to see the deer. (George Mortimer/CBC)

Michael Maclean, who lives nearby, said a lot of people dropped by to see the animals.

"It's the middle of summer, we're in an urban area here in the north end and there's some deer wandering around," said Maclean. "It is a sight to behold."

Officials at the armouries left the gate open, hoping the deer would eventually leave on their own. Clowe said one hopped the fence Wednesday morning and ran off.

Officials with the Department of Lands and Forestry guided the deer out the gate of Victoria Park. But the animal ran into Sydney harbour and drowned before they could rescue it. (George Mortimer/CBC)

The other tried to jump the fence but wasn't successful. It started to get a "little panicky," Clowe said, so the Department of Lands and Forestry was called. 

Forestry staff corralled the remaining deer in an enclosed area, then made a pathway with vehicles to allow it to leave the site through the front gate.

The deer ran across the Esplanade and into a wooded area nearby.

In an email, the Department of Lands and Forestry said the deer then ran into Sydney harbour and drowned before staff were able to rescue it.

The department said an increased public presence around wildlife can be stressful for animals.

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