I am very fortunate to be living in a city nestled in a lovely valley surrounded by mountains and forests. As our city encroaches further up the mountain it moves us ever closer to the habitat of the big horn sheep and deer who also call this home. In the spring and fall we often get black bears wandering down to the creek in the green space behind our street. We all live here together but it’s not always harmonious.
The other night we were driving home from a concert when the car in front of us suddenly hit the brakes as a deer jumped out in front of him. We stopped and asked if we could help. A call was made to the police and the conservation office and there really was nothing more anyone could do for the poor injured deer. It was clearly suffering. I found it painful to witness. I felt completely useless. Eventually help arrived and we carried on, but the image of the suffering deer remained with me.
The next day I mentioned it to my sister who told me her own deer story. Apparently it happened several years ago as she and my brother-in-law were driving home one night from their son’s basketball game. My nephew and his friend were in the jeep in front of them when they suddenly hit a deer. Everyone jumped out of their vehicles and before they could think what to do, my nephew’s friend pulled a hunting knife out of his jeep and ended the deer’s suffering by slitting its throat! My sister said they knew he was a skilled hunter but they were absolutely stunned by his action. It was an image they didn’t soon forget. Begging the question, which is worse, watching an animal suffer of watching it die?