The tale of the Harlem deer came to a tragic end over the weekend.
A white-tailed deer that captured the imaginations of New Yorkers, as well as the governor, died just before it was to betransported upstate, according to a spokesman from the mayor’s office.
“Sad news: while under the stress of captivity & while awaiting potential transport upstate by state DEC, the Harlem deer has died.”
The single-antlered buck, which caught local media attention had been staying in Harlem’s Jackie Robinson Park for a couple weeks. After wandering onto the Polo Towers Grounds, a public-housing complex, at around 4 a.m. on Thursday, and being captured by the NYPD, officials decided to euthanize it.
“They were worried,” spokesman for NYPD Lt. John Grimpel said,“that the deer was going to get onto [Harlem River Drive] and cause damage to a holiday motorist.” TheNew York Times reported.
The mayor’s office said on Thursday afternoon the deer had to be euthanized because the state Environmental Conservation Department said relocation would only be possible if the deer was released near the site of capture.
But later, after some back-and-forth between de Blasio’s office and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, a spokesman for the governor, released the following statement:
“Over the last day, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation advised the City of New York that there are alternatives to euthanasia that they can consider, including relocation. The city has now captured the deer, and Governor Cuomo has directed DEC to offer assistance to the city to transport and find a new habitat for it immediately.”