State officials are trying to help free a deer whose head has been stuck in a plastic pretzel jar for at least a week.
Residents of the Bel Air neighborhood where the deer has been spotted have called the deer “Jughead,” who was probably just looking for a lick of salt.
“When they’re empty, the salt that’s left in them is attractive to deer and other animals. Unfortunately, the heads on these young animals are about the right size for the openings on these containers,” said Paul A. Peditto, the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Heritage Service Director.
Residents told 11 News that the first sighting of the deer with his head in the jar was Thursday night. DNR officials said they’ve seen this before.
Scott Bupp has seen the deer running right through his back yard.
“We have a herd of deer that run the creek back here, and one of the deer has a plastic jug stuck to its head, and we’re trying to figure out how to save the deer and get the jug off its head, which is not an easy task,” Bupp said.
DNR officials say the deer is male, probably about 7 to 8 months old, and probably not in trouble yet.
“Just because of the nature of their face and their bone structure allows for them to breathe, and deer, even during the colder months, have substantial fat reserves that they can live off of for weeks,” Peditto said.
Another thing in the deer’s favor is the community. Residents have acted as scouts for wildlife teams with Facebook posts of “Jughead” sightings.
The challenges? This pack of animals is wary and easily spooked, and the wind is terrible.
“Two things happen. Deer don’t like to move in the wind, so they’ll get to where they’re bedding, in the big wood lot there in the neighborhood, and lay there all day until this sort of settles down, and the equipment we use, those darts, are relatively lightweight, and they’re really subject to being moved about in the wind,” Peditto said.
DNR teams have spent two days in the neighborhood at dawn and at dusk trying to coax the deer in and get that jar off his head.