Two deer died and another was rescued and set free after being pulled from the water near the Brooklyn-side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Wednesday in what experts are calling the first time in 50 years that deer have attempted to colonize the Borough of Kings.
In two separate incidents within hours of each other, cops found the animals either struggling in the water or standing on the riprap near the Shore Road Park bike path.
One deer managed to make its way up to the promenade, where it got its head lodged in the metal fence that apparently does an excellent job doing what it was designed to do: keep wild animals out of Brooklyn and the borough’s joggers and bicyclists safely on shore.
Cops were able to cut that deer loose, but it later died of its injuries while en route to the East New York Animal Control Center, according to Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the agency.
A second deer also had been badly injured during its trip to Brooklyn and had to be put down by authorities.
The third deer was returned to Staten Island, where the population of the animals has become so large, “Deer Crossing” signs are now displayed on its highways and byways.
Those deer are believed to have immigrated from New Jersey via the narrow Arthur Kill, an easy paddle for the animals that are apparently excellent swimmers.
That leaves them just a few miles from our shores, a trip they seem to be anxious to take.
The deer invasion was the first in the borough in a long time, according to the city’s chief naturalist.
“This is probably the first time deer set foot in Brooklyn since Peter Minuit was hobbling around on his peg leg,” Mike Feller told the New York Times.
But it isn’t the first time that Brooklyn has been invaded by wild, furry creatures that haven’t called the borough home in generations. Beginning in the 1990s, raccoons mysteriously repopulated the borough — possibly a result of “Bugbuster” Jimmy Baldassano’s kind heart. The Staten Island exterminator may have helped the animals across the Narrows — via bridge — when he refused to put the varmints he caught on the Rock to death, and instead dropped them off at Calvert Vaux Park in Gravesend.
For reason’s we’ll never know, large mammals have also fled Brooklyn for Richmond County’s shores. In 1906, an elephant escaped from a circus in Coney Island and swam toward Staten Island, capsizing a fishing boat along the way and landing itself in jail for vagrancy.
You can look it up.