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Deer Seek Sanctuary On White House Lawn Smash Heads Against Fence; Only One Of Three Survives

They say the buck stops there - at the White House, that is.

But Friday, it was three does that stopped there after wandering downtown from Rock Creek Park. Seemingly lost, disoriented and traveling on unfamiliar concrete, the deer ended up banging themselves against the black wrought-iron fence surrounding the greenery of the White House.

One was caught in the fence, and a second jumped into the courtyard of the Treasury Building next door. Both were tranquilized and then put to death by District of Columbia animal control officers because of the severity of their injuries.

“They were bleeding. They had cuts all over them. They had smashed into fences. The poor things, they were in such a panic,” said Donna Marsden, a spokeswoman for the Washington Humane Society. “They were euthanized because they were so bloody and so injured.”

The third doe, amazingly, survived. It was trapped for hours in a courtyard across the street from the White House. Animal control officers finally moved in on the deer, which panicked and leaped over a wall, falling about 18 feet and bouncing off the hood of a car before being trapped in the building’s parking garage.

It was taken to Second Chance Wildlife Center in Gaithersburg, Md., where it is expected to recover and eventually be released into the wild.

Julie Lantz, a buyer for Decatur House Museum, had the misfortune of owning the Volvo that the deer landed on in the parking garage.

“The insurance company was flabbergasted when I called them,” Lantz said.

“I said, ‘A deer just landed on my car when it was parked.’ They said they had never gotten a call like this before, a deer landing on a parked car. I said it came from the White House. They said, ‘The White House?”’