Deer Takes On Lions at the National Zoo

Photo courtesy of
‘Wild DC – O Hai! – 6-12-09’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

You can’t make this stuff up. A deer, a resident of Rock Creek Park, made a very unwise decision on Sunday. This poor deer decided to take one small step for deer…and one giant leap for deerkind – right into the lion exhibit at the National Zoo. Merry Christmas to the two female lions that quickly became interested in their new dinner menu. But WAIT – not so fast. This little deer is a survivor. NBC 4 has the full story here.

According to the article, the whole ordeal took about 45 minutes and ended up with the staff at the Zoo rescuing the deer after its valiant fight to get away. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? How about video. Even better. You must watch this video of the deer escaping the female lions as a large crowd cheers on Bambi! This is seriously like watching the Discovery Channel’s footage of a lion attack in Africa. Must watch.

(Watch the video after the jump)

Dear Mr. Deer,

You may not be smart…but you sure are brave.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, it looks like the deer had to be put down due to its injuries, according to WaPo.

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23 thoughts on “Deer Takes On Lions at the National Zoo

  1. I’m kinda rooting for the lion too. I was always thought they must get so bored in their enclosure, and man, that must have been thrilling for them. I actually hope that, since the deer had to be put down, its used for food for the other animals, including these lions.

  2. A few years back one jumped into the cheetah enclosure. The cheetahs froze fro a few minutes like, “This is a joke, right? That can’t be real.” before they started stalking it. After a few minutes the deer got out and went on it’s way, and the cheetahs were left with, well, cat food.

  3. I imagine the dead deer would have been used as food. At the zoos I have worked with it is normal procedure to feed healthy dead animals (whole and unbutchered) to appropriate meat-eaters. Natural diet and all that.

  4. Kinda sad, really. If that lion were wild, that dear would be toast. But never having to hunt and not having much room to run, it couldn’t even hold onto a deer right in its lap.

  5. I LOVE the woman at the end of the video saying “There has to be some kind of emergency to deal with something like this…” That’s right lady, the DCPD, DCFD, etc. routinely practice deer jumps into the lion pit rescue ops.

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  7. Ah, water, the natural enemy of all cats. But seriously, it can’t be good for the lion culture that the zoo staff didn’t let them kill the intruder… :OP

    But really seriously, I don’t think the lions were into it. At least what’s visible in the video, they were playing with the deer. I’ve seen my family’s cat do much the same with mice she has caught.

  8. Wow, that’s crazy! I have to admit, I kinda think the lion deserved a little treat of actually hunting down a live animal. We have a deer overpopulation problem anyway.

  9. Actually, that habitat reduction problem led to the overpopulation problem, so you are both right. We also don’t want the deer’s natural predators, namely coyotes and hunters, roaming around our neighborhoods and killing our cute woodland friends, so what we get is too darned many nuisances and varmints like deer.

  10. I’m curious, cass … what deer habitat has been lost (or “reduced”) within the DC city limits in the last forty to fifty years?

  11. Listening to these idiots get all upset is why this country has some serious problems…..awwww…poor little deer is gonna get eaten by the big bad lion. We need to rescue the little deer from such a hazardous situation……no matter the cost…

  12. “UPDATE: Unfortunately, it looks like the deer had to be put down due to its injuries”

    UMMM . why didn’t they just let the lion eat it?

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