Residents near Fort and Eureka had a surprise visitor outside their houses Saturday evening.
A deer was spotted running down several residential streets before finally being corralled in a backyard on 22nd Street, just off Eureka, at about 6 p.m.
A 6-foot privacy fence trapped the deer long enough for concerned residents to call police. Or so they thought.
"The deer was pretty tired," Police Chief Daniel Grant said. "It was running around and obviously very excited. ... (People) called for animal control and they were on the way, just about on the scene, when the deer rested for a few minutes and got enough energy to jump out of the fence and started to run around again."
Now able to see what they were dealing off, officers figured they could safely relocate the deer, Grant said.
"Once it got out of the yard, the officers were able to chase it toward the tracks with their sirens on and hitting the air horns," he said. "It got on the railroad tracks and started running south, where it's more open and there's a large deer population already in that West Jefferson, Biddle area."
Grant said he's pleased with the way the situation was handled, noting that officers responded with a tranquilizer gun, hoping for a nonlethal ending.
"We never got that far since the deer took off, but knocking it out and relocating it would have been the answer," he said.
The only times deadly force is used, Grant said, is if a deer is in distress, injured, about to cause a traffic accident or endanger the public in any way.
"Certainly, we want that to be a last resort," he said.