(CBS) – Those weren’t Halloween revelers in costume — those were two REAL deer sitting Thursday in the front yard of a Gold Coast apartment building.
For more than five and a half hours, the two sat in the front yard of the Canterbury Court Apartments, at 1220 N. State Pkwy. One deer appeared to have a leg injury and walked with a limp. The other munched contentedly at the building’s flower bed, occasionally looking up at all of the people who stopped to gawk.
Ben Tanzier, who was working at home, at first thought they were two large dogs.
“So I went over to the window and thought, ‘Not dogs. Those are two deer.’ They were just walking down the street … actually, on the sidewalk. I thought that was very nice of them,” Tanzier tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
“They’re beautiful,” said one nearby resident, named Helen, who said she had never seen one deer close-up, let along two.
A man standing nearby disagreed. He said in 35 years of living on the Gold Coast he had never seen a deer and considered them to be “dangerous.”
Another person, Mary Bohlander, was more amazed by the reaction of the curious than the deer themselves, because she moved from Marengo to the city two months ago.
“We have a lot of deer where I’m from,” she said.
Police quickly gave the deer protection, and a mat from the front of the apartment building was erected to block their exit. The deer made no attempt to move before city animal control personnel brought in tranquilizer guns.
Crowds of curious onlookers, young and old, many clad in animal-themed Halloween costumes, gathered as close as 15 feet away until police cleared the area immediately surrounding the building to prepare for tranquilizing the deer. Each deer was shot with several darts.
Police told residents tranquilizing the deer was the most humane way to work with them, because if allowed to escape, they could be hit by cars or cause accidents.
Police said the deer had been seen earlier in the day on the lakefront jogging and cycling path. It was unclear when or where the one deer suffered its injury.
It’s thought the deer will be taken to a wild animal rescue center near Flint, Mich. They’ll be treated there and hopefully released into the wild.