Chelmsford City Council staff were shocked this morning when a badly-hurt deer ran into the customer services reception.
The muntjac deer, which appeared to have been hit by a car, entered by the front doors of the Civic Centre next to the bus station on Duke Street.
It was in an distressed state and caused some damage to equipment and furnishings before quick-thinking staff managed to safely and gently contain it in one area. The reception was temporarily closed for safety and the RSPCA were called.
Unfortunately, due to the extent of the deer’s injuries, by the time the RSPCA arrived it had sadly died. Customer services staff stayed with the animal and did all that they could to keep it calm.
Muntjac deer have become common in the UK since their introduction in the 20th century, but are rarely seen in city centres. Dog-sized, they make a distinctive barking call and are often seen browsing woodlands for herbs, shoots and brambles. With populations in England higher than they have ever been, they are expanding into urban areas and are beginning to be spotted in overgrown gardens and parks.
Ali Naqvi, Group Marketing & Customer Manager, said, “This was a very sad incident which was upsetting for our team, many of whom are animal-lovers. I am proud of the way they responded, stayed calm and used caring and common sense to deal with the situation. We don’t know how far the deer ran to get here, but in its injured state it is unlikely to have been very far.”
If you are driving around a city or town centre, be careful and look out for hazards on the road as you would when driving in the countryside. Wildlife, including larger animals such as deer, do live in parks and areas of green space near city-centre roads and can suddenly run into traffic, causing accidents.
If you are involved in a collision involving a deer, you can report it to Essex Police – although this is not a legal requirement.
Advice for motorists on reducing the chances of an accident involving a deer can be found on the Government website.