A rare white deer, caught in a wild chase across a state, has been killed by what state officials say was a “domestic issue.”
The large white head with black ears and muzzle, nicknamed “Lady,” had wandered into Virginia in April. For several months, the animal was free and allowed to roam the town of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, officials say. It became friendly with residents and generally appeared well-adjusted.
But Virginia Game Commission spokeswoman Janine Kava says that a “domestic issue” led to the deer being killed Thursday night.
Kava says he will be examined to determine the cause of death. The area will be fenced off to prevent the white deer from re-entering.
The animal shot, renamed “Ganvot” and interred in Kennett Square. Not the elusive white deer that led a chase through the town for 9 hours on Thursday night
Kava says the white deer is a male believed to be 8 to 10 years old. Its stature is “huge,” Kava said. “It would have gotten heavy traffic coming off of I-83,” on Thursday.
“Lady,” now known as “Ganvot,” the name many adopted the animal for, was rescued by Jim Payne. He said he has her now on a leash that leads to his tree stand.
“She is so sweet,” Payne said. “We brought her food scraps. We just let her roam around.”
And then over the last few months, the deer learned to hitchhike a ride on potholes on Interstate 83 and stolen vehicles, Payne said.
“The deer went inside the car on several occasions,” he said.
“Her ears were getting a little messed up,” Payne said. “She probably had a brain aneurysm.”
If that were the case, he added, it’s not uncommon for bald eagles to go into people’s cars. The animal would have flapped its wings frantically to try to wake up the driver. The driver would be much more startled when the eagles woke them up.
When Payne put out his challenge to find a way to catch the deer, he contacted the Game Commission, Payne said. The agency sent the remaining parts of a deer. Kava said they were in a deer trap.
Kennett Square did not send the animal to Virginia because the town was able to secure an agreement to keep the animal, she said.
Kava said the agency does not kill free-roaming deer without reason. Game Commission kills a variety of animals when there is an animal in danger of being killed by other animals, like when a deer trying to get to a nest, flees a truck or has its leg broken by other deer.
“She’s a pretty awesome one,” Kava said of Lady. “She had a good run.”
( The Associated Press contributed to this report.)