Just call him Jughead.
That’s what neighbors in the Maryland town of Bel Air, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore, have dubbed a deer that managed to get a plastic pretzel jar stuck on its head.
— Kate Amara (@kateamaraWBAL) January 26, 2017
Crews with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources have been trying for at least two days to help the animal get the jug off its head. They were called in after residents reported seeing the deer in nearby woods and yards.
The deer was first spotted about a week ago with its head stuck in the jug.
State wildlife officials told WBAL-TV11 that they believe it was trying to get a lick of salt. The deer is believed to be a male and is estimated to be about seven or eight months old, experts said.
Wildlife officials said this is not uncommon.
Paul A. Peditto, the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Heritage Service director, said the salt left in jars is appealing to deer and other animals. But he told WBAL that “unfortunately, the heads on these young animals are about the right size for the openings on these containers” and they can get stuck.
In November 2015, a roughly 175-pound black bear had to be rescued after it got its head stuck in a milk can in Frederick County. Wildlife experts with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources tranquilized the bear and then used a small saw on the milk can and their hands to pull the jug off.
Officials with the natural resources department said catching up with the jug-headed deer is tough because, like most wildlife, it is easily spooked. Crews need to get close enough to use a lightweight dart to tranquilize the deer and help it get the jug off its head. And shooting the dart at the deer in windy conditions of the past few days is also a challenge, officials said.
On Friday, wildlife officials said a team was back at trying to help the deer by getting close enough to tranquilize it and get the jug off its head.
“Ideally, the container will come loose naturally,” said Gregg Bortz, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “As of now, the animal appears healthy and not otherwise injured.”
The deer can breathe inside the jug, officials said, given its bone and face structure. Deer also have “substantial fat reserves that they can live off of for weeks,” Peditto told WBAL.