Now, mid week, it is even colder, in the teens. It's so January.
It was badly injured. The right back leg was torn open and bloody. Bones were visible. The deer hobbled off on three legs, awkwardly. It was a very unsettling sight.
I assumed it would die of its injury or soon be taken down by a bobcat or coyote.
This week our neighbors called to say the three legged deer was on their patio, the injury visible and the compound fracture still open. It's been almost two weeks since we saw it and it is still very much alive, very much injured, and seems to be sticking unnaturally close to houses in the neighborhood.
Our neighbor called the state department of environmental protection - Connecticut DEP -- expecting, what? That they would come out and do something? Euthanize it? But the DEP simply said deer get injured, deer live, and there are three legged animals surviving just fine in the woods. Nothing to do.
I fret all the time about getting rid of the deer who are so destructive to my gardens. But I certainly don't want any animal to be hurt so grievously or to suffer.
The injured deer in our yards was likely hit by a car. It could have been a predator attack, but I doubt it. Broken bones indicate it was struck hard by something, and deer crossing the road around here are a constant hazard. I only pray the driver of the car wasn't hurt.
I don't know if I hope this one lives a three legged life in the woods or succumbs quickly in this cold, bitter January weather.