6 min read

Guy Spots A Deer In His Backyard — Who Looks A Little Different

He'd been stuck like that for five days 😱

Herds of white-tailed deer grazing in backyards and on the side of roads are a familiar sight to New Jersey residents, especially as the weather turns warm. But one homeowner in Colts Neck got the surprise of the season last week after spotting an animal unlike anything seen before.

In the dark, the animal appeared to have a furry brown body, spindly legs and a perfectly circular head, almost like an astronaut’s helmet.

New Jersey white-tailed deer with head stuck in bowl
Monmouth County SPCA

On closer examination, the homeowner realized the otherworldly creature was actually a young buck — and he was in trouble.

The deer had gotten his head trapped in a glass bowl, and if the heavy headpiece wasn’t enough to make him stand out, the buck was made even more noticeable by the fact that he was traveling alone.

Deer with light fixture on head
Monmouth County SPCA

Ostracized by his family, the buck could only attempt to eat and drink after his herd left their grazing spot. “Certain species will treat members as outcasts if they look different or are injured so to not invite predators or disrupt the integrity of the herd,” the Monmouth County SPCA (MCSPCA) noted in a press release.

The resident knew time was of the essence to save the young buck, who had not been able to feed on budding trees and vegetation for days due to the glass barrier around his head. So the homeowner contacted the MCSPCA for help, along with the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Deer is sedated by the SPCA
Monmouth County SPCA

Once the buck was discovered and sedated, the rescue team got to work. “The glass bowl was removed, which turned out to be a light fixture cover, which probably had been filled with water the deer tried to drink,” the MCSPCA wrote on Facebook. “The buck was dehydrated from four days without food and water, and had a couple of scrapes probably from the poor visibility, but was able to get up and walk away after we cleaned him up and the sedative had worn off.”

While the deer appeared to have regained his strength once his head was freed, he still needed some help through Easter weekend. The MCSPCA received another call from the concerned neighbor later that day, when he noticed the deer had laid back down and was having difficulty breathing, too weak to find his herd.

Monmouth County SPCA

Deann Bowen, a veterinary technician with the MCSPCA, rushed to the scene, administering fluids to the deer — which seemed to do the trick. “We could tell he was completely dehydrated by the way he looked,” Bowen said in the press release. “After we administered the fluids his head perked right up, and after a few minutes his breathing returned to normal.”

Deer receives IV fluids
Bowen administers fluids | Monmouth County SPCA

Rescue workers watched as the deer recovered, rising to his feet, taking a few wobbly steps and then bolting over a fence and into a wooded area. After surviving a difficult winter of snow and scarcity, made worse by an unfortunate run-in with a discarded light fixture, the young buck can finally enjoy a time of renewal and happiness.

rescued deer rejoins his herd
Monmouth County SPCA

“The Monmouth County SPCA has been told that there is no longer a single deer feeding,” the press release stated, “so it is happily assumed that he has rejoined his herd.”

To help other animals in need, you can make a donation to the Monmouth County SPCA here.