Deer crashes through salon window

A deer crashes through a Long Island salon on Saturday as captured in this video still. New York Times

NEW YORK — When Jenisse Heredia, a hair stylist, first heard the sound of breaking glass at her Long Island salon Saturday afternoon, she thought a car had struck the building.

But when she looked up from working on a client’s hair, she saw something even stranger: A massive deer was sliding across the floor toward her.

“It was huge,” said Heredia, who owns the salon. “I was freaking out.”

The animal leapt through the front display window of the hair salon in Lake Ronkonkoma around 12:20 p.m., breaking the glass pane and injuring one woman, according to police.

After scrambling across the slippery floor, the buck threw his antlers into the air a few times and ran into the break room at the back of the salon, Heredia said.

Heredia yelled at her assistant to close the door to that room. But before her assistant could reach the door, the deer lunged from the break room toward the front door and out of the salon, she said.

The shocking incident was captured by the salon’s video surveillance system.

The video was widely shared on social media, joining the ranks of similarly odd images capturing interactions between deer and people, which have become more common as deer populations have surged across the Northeast in recent decades.

The proliferation has been aided by the fact that fewer people are hunting now than they did in previous years, which used to help control the deer population, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. At the same time, urban and suburban areas have developed and expanded, encroaching on the animal’s natural habitat and bringing them into more contact with people.

New York City has experimented with male deer vasectomies to cull its herd on Staten Island. And many other cities, including Cincinnati and Ann Arbor, Michigan, have targeted does for surgical or chemical sterilization, or rendered them temporarily infertile with contraception drugs.

“Development is taking away all of their habitat,” said Michael Geraghty, 43, a hunter on Long Island whose Long Island Deer Management site offers to help residents deal with deer on their property. “Now they’re everywhere. There’s definitely a problem.”

State officials have become concerned about the increase in interactions between deer and humans: As the main source of food for adult female ticks, deer could help spread Lyme disease, according to the department.

Deer also cause around 70,000 car collisions a year in New York, according to estimates provided to the department by State Farm insurance company. With the start of mating season this month, those collisions will likely increase, state officials said.

“Early fall is a peak time for wildlife activity in New York,” Basil Seggos, the environmental department’s commissioner, said in a recent statement. “I caution all motorists, even those driving in urban areas, to keep an eye out and be aware, particularly during these active fall months.”

But Saturday’s incident at a salon situated in a suburban section of Long Island, along a busy roadway, showed that these interactions can occur indoors, too.

Heredia said that she and her customers, one of whom was trying out a hair style for her wedding Friday, were shaken by the episode. Another customer, who was sitting on a couch at the front of the store when the deer bounded through window and over her head suffered leg and head pain and was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, according to police.

Heredia said she later found a tangled flat hair iron across the street, in the direction the deer had run after fleeing the salon.

“I would have never imagined something like this happening before,” she said.

New York Times

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(1) comment


Long Island is pretty densely populated. Are there many places farther than a few hundred feet from roads or houses?

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