Wednesday, June 08, 2005

When Bambi Attacks

My daughter has an unnatural fear of deer so please do not show her this story.
CARBONDALE - While most experts say a deer's natural defense mechanism is "flight" rather than "fight," a doe wandering through Thompson Woods on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus Tuesday bucked instincts and
attacked three unsuspecting people.

Ron Gillette, a 57-year-old student of economics and foreign language international trade, was one of the victims to experience the wrath of a doe apparently trying to protect two fawns.


Gillette said he was still surprised when the doe burst through the brush, onto the walkway and reared up at him, intending to strike him down with her sharp hoofs.

More than 20 years of deer hunting didn't quite prepare Gillette for hand-to-hand combat with one, but he was quick on his feet, ducking the doe's blows and returning with a sharp uppercut to the doe's chin.

The deer attacked once more. Gillette repeated his pattern, delivering another punch to the doe's head.

This time, he said, the deer backed off but continued to stare Gillette down as he cautiously made his way into the library.


SIUC police report that, after the deer's altercation with Gillette, it attacked two other unidentified students along Thompson Woods paths between Faner Hall and Morris Library. One student was treated at SIUC Student Health Services, the other at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Sgt. Harold Tucker said officers have taped off the inner paths of the woods to pedestrians in hope of avoiding any more conflicts with the doe. The last sighting Tuesday evening had the deer deep into the forested area, well away from the paths, Tucker said.

When I was a student at SIU, I walked through Thompson woods almost daily. You almost have to to get across campus. But I never saw anything larger than a squirrel.


DownLeft said...

Strange story.
During a summer session I saw deer near Thompson woods all the time. I guess they don't like to come out during the rest of the year when more students are around.

Anonymous said...

I would see deer just south of campus on my morning rides (bike) onto campus. They'd be out eating breakfast in some of the pocket cornfields that wedge between the wooded scapes.

Loved the rural nature of carbondale's southside. I remember quite literally being awoken by the crow of roosters, and watching hunters hunting game in neary fields only a few yards from my humble senior shack.