Karen Ebrahim was working from her home in Catonsville when she looked out her patio door and saw something that surprised her.
A deer was standing in her backyard with a blue trick-or-treat bucket over its head.
“I saw the deer and I went ‘oh my god that bucket is stuck,’” Ebrahim said, “I’m thinking ‘it can’t eat, it can’t see, it could run out in the street and get hit,’ so my first instinct was to find someone who could help, because I didn’t know what to do.”
Ebrahim turned to Nextdoor for help, a platform where neighbors can connect and post information about their neighborhood.
She is a frequent user of Nextdoor – just before she saw the deer, she was posting a photo of a cat on her deck that resembled a missing cat she had seen a neighbor post.
Around 5 minutes after posting a photo of the deer, a neighbor responded and advised her to call the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Ebrahim contacted the department, who said they would send someone shortly.
In the meantime, Ebrahim’s landscaping service arrived, unintentionally sending the deer running through the woods with the bucket still on its head, bumping into trees as it went.
With the deer gone, Ebrahim went back to work.
Until she heard a commotion in her stairwell outside.
A neighbor across the woods, who also happened to be updating Nextdoor about the deer, had tried to help the deer and ended up chasing it back to Ebrahim’s house.
“I thought it was pretty ironic that he chased the deer back to where the post originated,” Ebrahim said.
The neighbor and members of her landscaping service KM Landscaping cornered the deer into her stairwell and finally removed the bucket.
But the deer wasn’t done getting stuck.
The deer ran across Ebrahim’s deck, accidentally getting its head stuck in the railing of her patio.
The landscaping team freed the deer and it ran, unharmed, back into the woods. DNR staff were not involved in the rescue, despite the caption that Ebrahim later posted on the website.
Animals trapping themselves in man-made objects is a surprisingly common occurrence.
Last week in Colorado, wildlife services finally removed a tire that had been wrapped around an elk’s neck for two years. The elk had somehow shoved its head through the tire, and it became locked in place as its antlers developed.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife tranquilized the 600 pound elk and sheared its antlers to remove the tire.
It was finally free. And its antlers will grow back.
Marylanders can contact Wildlife Services regarding sick or injured animals at 1-877-463-6497. See here for more information.