MARLBORO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A deer that had been walking around New Jersey for months with an arrow lodged in its muzzle can go back to leading a normal life.
The arrow had been in the deer’s muzzle since at least last December, which is when officials were notified of the situation, said Lawrence Hajna, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.
“The Division of Fish and Wildlife had made numerous attempts over the winter to remove the arrow but were unsuccessful, and then suspended efforts in May and over the summer because the deer was pregnant and we feared harming the unborn fawn,” Hajna told 1010 WINS.
Wildlife experts were able to lure the deer with corn and then tranquilize her with a dart gun.
Officials snipped off the shaft to prevent the animal from getting snagged on anything and ripping open her face, but left the arrowhead because the wound had healed around it and trying to remove it could cause further harm.
“A deer muzzle or nose is made up of a lot of hollow areas within the skeletal portion, so the arrow didn’t hit anything vital,” Hajna said.
Overall, officials said the deer was healthy and didn’t show any signs of stress or weight loss as a result of the injury.
“The deer was in good condition, showed no signs of being malnourished, she was eating fine, she was healthy,” Hajna said.
The deer, which is believed to be about 4 years old, was released back into the wild with her fawn after the procedure and is expected to survive.
“We thank all of the New Jersey residents and people from all over the world who have expressed concern about the deer, as well as local residents who have been very helpful in providing information on her movements throughout the community and even set up bait stations on their properties,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda. “Tracking the whereabouts of any single animal is difficult under any circumstances, and this doe was no exception.”