Bowman Gray Memorial Pool got wet and buck wild on Sunday.
A deer broke into the pool around 2 p.m. on Nov. 13, shattering a front window facing South Road. The doe then ran down the stairs and into the pool. Officials moved the animal to a safe space — reportedly the locker room, according to an email from the UNC swim club, which canceled practice due to the event.
After being sedated, the deer was safely removed by officers from the Department of Public Safety, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and animal control in a folded tarp at 4:11 p.m. The deer was placed in an animal control vehicle, which took the doe to a safe environment, according to aquatics director Catherine Ayers.
"They tranquilized it to get it to sleep and they’re taking it to release it," she said. "They had considered releasing it on campus, but given that it’s panicked they didn’t feel like that was safe for the deer or the students on campus, so they’re taking it somewhere."
The pool will be closed early tomorrow morning, but it may be open late tomorrow, depending on whether or not broken glass got into the pool. UNC Facilities Services staff will make the choice on whether to drain the pool.
Hope Gehle, a sophomore biology major, witnessed the break-in.
“I saw a deer, probably a female deer, probably at least 5 feet tall. And then it ran toward the aquatic director’s room and then fell after hearing — I think the glass broke then, it might have broken before then, I’m not sure,” she said.
Ayers said campus security was called, who then called the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Elizabeth Meares, an Orange County resident who was on campus to swim, said a student came by with a rope lasso and offered to wrangle the deer out of the pool, despite the presence of animal control. She said the student was turned away and quickly left the premises.
"I hope that the deer is all right and returned to a habitat it feels safe in," Meares said.
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