Residents of Periyakuppam, Ennore, had a surprise visitor on Friday morning — a female spotted deer.
The deer, which was found swimming in the sea nearly a kilometre away from shore, was rescued by a fisherman.
With the 45-day fishing ban under way, the shore was devoid of any activity in the morning. It was D. Vetrivel, a fisherman of the village, who spotted the animal when he walked up to the seashore at 6 a.m.
“I was standing on the seawall, and saw something moving in the water, nearly a kilometre away. Only as it started to come closer to the shore, I realised it was a deer. It faced some difficulty in swimming. So, I swam up to the animal and brought it ashore,” he said.
The sight of the deer drew crowds at the fishing hamlet. The animal refused to take the carrots and leaves that were offered and only lapped up some water. “This is the first time that we are seeing a deer straying into our village,” Mr. Vetrivel said.
Personnel of the forest department arrived at the spot and rescued the deer. “It is a four-year-old female deer. It had sustained a few scratches on its legs, probably after it hit the seawall, which has been laid to prevent sea erosion,” said S. Sekar, forester of the Ponneri Social Forestry Range.
He along with A. Kalyanasundaram, forest guard, Gummidipoondi Forest Range, took the deer to the children’s park at Guindy. “Doctors checked the deer and treated its injuries,” he said, adding that there were several deer in the Ennore Port area.
Deer have strayed into habitations on earlier occasions too, including at Pulicat and Ennore, Mr. Sekar said.