Friday, May 19, 2006

TENNESSEE NEWS: Deer Attacks Kindergarten

Kindergarten students at Robert E. Lillard Design Center School in Bordeaux had an unexpected visitor to their language arts class Thursday morning when a deer crashed through the room's first-floor window and landed at the foot of the teacher's desk.
At first, teacher Linda Fletcher was shocked and bewildered, but then her instincts kicked in. As the injured deer crawled away from her desk and behind the coat closet, she acted.

"All I could think about was getting away from the hooves and getting the children out," Fletcher said.
Two students suffered minor cuts from flying glass and one complained of chest pain — but the rest of the class was OK after the incident, school officials said.

Five-year-old Marcel Fogg was sitting at a table far away from the deer, which he and his other classmates have named Rudolph, but said he was frightened when the animal broke through the glass and flew over the heads of two classmates sitting beneath the window. "I thought Rudolph was gonna bite me," Marcel said.

Metro Animal Control Services and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency were called to the scene, where they tranquilized the deer and then euthanized it, said Steve Patrick, a TWRA regional manager. The deer had broken and severed its hind legs and probably would have gone into shock if it were not put down, he said. Animal Control officials will run tests to make sure that the animal was not diseased or that there could have been any other cause for its behavior, he said.

But such incidents are not altogether uncommon in Middle Tennessee, Patrick said. It happens once or twice a year — often because of the large deer population that lives in wooded cover so close to urban areas, he said. Sometimes deer get confused and wander into populated areas. Male deer are especially territorial and have been known to charge their own reflections.

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