For the employees of First Financial Bank in Vevay on Monday afternoon about 4 p.m., it was an unusual and frightening sight.
A fawn deer, estimated at just a week or two old, was standing in the middle of the intersection of Main and Ferry streets under the stoplight.
“I heard Allie yell and I went out front to see what was going on,” branch manager Marylee Tolbert said. “The girls out front saw it walk out from behind Boondoggle’s there in that area. It walked out and it got in the middle of the road and it about got hit; and somehow it made its way over by the Swiss Inn, and that’s when I heard Allie yell, ‘Somebody get it out of the road!’.”
So what did she do? The only thing that a branch manager of a bank would do —
She ran out into the street and picked it up.
“I ran out into the street and stopped traffic and scooped it up and brought it into the bank,” Tolbert said. “We were afraid that it would run, but it didn’t. I picked it up and it didn’t struggle at all.”
Heading towards the doors, Tolbert told other bank employees to open the conference room door, and in the little deer went.
“It didn’t struggle or anything, he just went over and laid down and hid under the conference room table,” Tolbert said.
After some quick discussions about a plan of action and some attempts to reach a conservation officer, they decided to contact Keli Gabbard at the Switzerland County Animal Shelter. She was soon on the scene.
And as people gathered, there was one other unusual thing about the deer — it was wearing a collar.
“It looks like someone was keeping it as a pet,” Tolbert said. “I’m not sure why, but it was pretty exciting. We had traffic stopped three different ways trying to get it. It wasn’t afraid of us, but with all of the traffic, it was kind of jumpy. So I just grabbed its collar and scooped him up under his belly, and carried him into the bank.”
Gabbard had some communication with the Red Wolf Sanctuary about taking the fawn, but they were unable to at this time; so she found a person near Greensburg, Indiana, that is licensed by the state to rehabilitate wild animals with the purpose of being able to reintroduce them back into nature.
“Initially we took it to a volunteer near Caledonia Church where it would be safe; and then we were transporting it up to Greensburg on Wednesday evening,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard said that the fawn isn’t hurt, but because they estimate that it is just one to two weeks old, it will be able to mix with and rehab with other deer that the facility has on the property. She noted because it was so young, it may have to be bottle fed at the facility.
And the collar?
Indiana Conservation Officer Steve Kinne said that it is a misdemeanor to possess a white tailed deer without a wildlife rehabilitation license; so he’s not surprised that no one has come forward at this point to claim knowledge of who had the deer. Anyone with information should contact the Vevay Police Department at (812) 427-3737 or the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department at (812) 427-3636.
So — what exactly was a baby deer doing in the bank on Monday?
Looking for some ‘doe’, maybe?
— Pat Lanman