Now deer are invading Canadian cities — another sign of too much socialism?

Nov 24th, 2009 | By | Category: In Brief
After apparently wandering around near Front Street and then around Queen and Bay, a 200 lb.deer made its way up to the University and Dundas area and laid down on a small patch of grass next to a medical building at Edward and Chestnut Streets, across from the bus terminal, around 7:30am.

After wandering around near Front Street and then around Queen and Bay, a 200 lb.deer laid down on a small patch of grass next to a medical building at Edward and Chestnut streets, near the bus terminal.

TORONTO, CANADA. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2009. This grey autumn morning a doe, a female deer, showed up downtown.  She was first spotted at Union Station, very early, strolling among the gathering crowds, on their way to work in the financial district, deep in the city with the heart of a loan shark.

No one knows just where she came from. But it must have been somewhere up north. Even in the largest Canadian metropolis, we are still on the edge of a wilderness that goes all the way to the North Pole. According to police Superintendent Hugh Ferguson: “Obviously, it made its way from Rouge Valley, Humber Valley … How? God only knows … GO Train, maybe.”

Not much later, the doe was apparently spotted at the corner of Bay and Queen streets, heading back north. She must have walked past the soaring towers of the Royal Bank of Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Scotaibank (formerly just the Bank of Nova Scotia), and BMO or the Bank of Montreal.

Toronto police are keeping watch on a deer that has wandered into the downtown core. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Megan Leach.

Toronto police kept watch on the deer for a few hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Megan Leach.

Finally, she lay down for a rest among some rare green shrubbery in front of a medical building at 123 Edward Street, near Chestnut Street and close to the bus station, on the west side of Bay Street, just north of Dundas. Soon enough she was surrounded by “Toronto Police, animal services and an emergency task force.” Also present was “a Dr. Graham Crawshaw,  a senior veterinarian from the Toronto Zoo.”

Meanwhile: “The intersection of Edward and Chestnut streets. was cordoned off … buses departing from Toronto Bus Depot, just steps away from the deer, were being re-routed around Edward Street.” All this activity seems to have alarmed the doe. She had already been “shot with a tranquillizer.” But this takes a while to work.

Suddenly she got up and started to run. Then she was “tasered as” she “tried to flee. Police officers … wrapped” her “ in a net and held” her “down until the tranquillizer took effect.” According to the Toronto Star: “The animal will be watched over by veterinarians and then likely given to the Toronto Zoo, police said.”

The deer makes a run for it near the Toronto Coach Terminal at Bay and Dundas, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. Toronto police tasered the deer shortly after.

The deer made a run for it near the Toronto Coach Terminal at Bay and Dundas. Toronto police tasered the frightened animal shortly after.

According to the Globe and Mail, this is  “not the first deer sighting in downtown Toronto this week. Late Saturday night, Tomash Devenishek, 24, was heading to the bars with friends in two cars when they spotted a deer near the railway tracks at Strachan Avenue, just north of Ordnance Street, within sight of Fort York.”

It may be that the current Great Recession (combined with Climate Change?) is taking a toll even among the animals of the northern wilderness — as well as the animals “heading to the bars” in what is no longer Toronto the Good. Maybe the deer have already heard that if they manage to reach the deep downtown of the city with the heart of a loan shark, they will likely be given to the Toronto Zoo. It ain’t exactly Algonquin Park. But at least they won’t starve.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 24, 11.15 PM ET:

The Leslie Spit, in the Toronto megacity's near east end.

The Leslie Spit, in the Toronto megacity's near east end.

According to the Globe and Mail, the wayward deer did not in fact quite wind up in the Toronto Zoo: “The doe was loaded into a van. She was examined, found to be in good health and released an hour later in the lakefront Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto Zoo veterinarian Graham Crawshaw told CTV.”  This park, however, is part of an alleged “urban wilderness” that some still call the Leslie Spit (also close enough to the counterweights world headquarters, btw) — and seems an unlikely place for a deer to remain, for any great length of time.

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