That's a headline my favorite supermarket tabloid - the Weekly World News - ran at the height of the Reagan administration. Though I don't remember the details, I'm sure the paper - which gleefully elevated National Enquirer-type journalism to an art form - treated the news with the same gravitas and respect it bestowed upon alien babies, animal-human hybrids, dead celebrities, and Bat Boy: a half-bat, half-human child found in a cave.
I bring this up because a news release from Baltimore's public works department just crossed my desk. Deer are overgrazing in woods surrounding a reservoir, so after a public meeting the department gave bow-hunters permission to hunt there. When a co-worker saw the release his first reaction was, "They're going to kill Bambi, aren't they?"
Well, most taxpayers would prefer human intervention to releasing the white-tailed deer's natural predators - wolves and cougars - on to public property to cull herds.
Chicago abounds with forest preserves, so deer are everywhere. I once saw a huge buck stroll across two lanes of rush-hour traffic and regularly see groups of them grazing at a local golf course. But overabundance of the Odocoileus virginianus isn't always benign: On a recent drive to the office early one morning, another co-worker watched in terror as two deer attempted to cross eight lanes of 65 mph interstate traffic. Miraculously, they made it across without causing an accident.
The highly adaptable white-tailed deer is found throughout most of North America, prompting us to wonder if they're complicating the work of public works departments beyond Maryland. Click here to let us know if deer are dogging your department. It's a simple yes or no question.
If you'd like to share an anecdote about your department's experience with rambunctious fauna, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we look forward to hearing from you.