Guy Checks Security Camera To Find Out Who Attacked His Inflatable Reindeer

Rudolph’s untimely demise was no accident.

It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Dave Lester’s place on the shore of Lake Tahoe. The colorful lights had all been hung, and numerous holiday decorations were neatly set on his lawn out front.

Overseeing that festive display was its smiling centerpiece — an inflatable reindeer figurine that Lester named Rudolph.

But what had been the perfect picture of seasonal charm soon took an ugly turn.

Dave Lester

Just the other morning, Lester awoke and was surprised to find something was amiss.

Rudolph, who’d been standing so confidently the evening prior, was now piled into a lifeless puddle.

He’d become deflated.

Dave Lester

Initially, Lester assumed that the fan keeping Rudolph inflated had simply lost power. But a closer look revealed something far more nefarious.

“I thought it was an electrical issue, since the plug was pulled out,” Lester told The Dodo. “I plugged it back in, [but] Rudolph wouldn't blow back up. I started looking for holes and found bite marks and claw marks.”

Indeed, the cause of Rudolph’s untimely demise had been no accident.

Dave Lester

With that, Lester decided to check his security cameras to see if they had captured anything out of the ordinary overnight — hoping to resolve the mystery of what had happened to Rudolph.

“Lo and behold, it was our neighborhood bear,” Lester said.

The attack had been caught on video:

Why exactly the bear decided to rough up Rudolph that night is anyone's guess, but one thing was clear: The inflatable reindeer was beyond repair.

"No amount of CPR or duct tape could revive him," Lester wrote. "RIP Rudolph. He was only 2 years old."

Lester was a bit bummed — but in true Christmas spirit, he's not leveling any blame. In fact, he's doing quite the opposite.

Dave Lester

"We love our Tahoe bears no matter what they do," Lester said. "We live in their habitat. They were here long before us. The bear has probably walked by the reindeer 30 or 40 times and never attacked him. It's definitely a rare occurrence, but it's just part of living with wildlife."

Rather than count the whole thing as a loss, however, Lester is hoping Rudolph's legacy can live on.

Dave Lester

Lester plans to sell his dear Rudolph — or what's left of him, anyway — and use the money for good.

"The reindeer carcass is going on eBay with 100% of the proceeds going to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and the BEAR League of Lake Tahoe," Lester said. "[It's] a great opportunity to share bear awareness and raise money for injured wildlife."

(Here's the link to that eBay listing.)

Lester's Rudolph may be deflated, but, oddly enough, it now somehow feels even more like Christmas.