Wild Wildlife

Deer

The rogue deer that jumped through the window of a Kaplan classroom Thursday, Oct 17. (Photo by Rebecca Gordils)

by Stephen Bloshuk

Around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct 17, one of Professor Glenn Reynolds’ classes was interrupted—not by a late student, but by the four-point buck that crashed through a window of the Kaplan Hall Annex. The window was completely shattered, giving two students minor injuries; one was struck by the unexpected guest as it came through the window and the other’s foot was cut by the broken glass.

These two students were taken to Health Services and the rest of the classroom was quickly cleared. Reynolds’ first move was to turn to Mr. Patrick Arnold, Assistant Director of Security and Safety, and tell him about this surprising incident.

Because he did not see exactly what had shattered the window, Reynolds thought that “someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail,” and was “not sure what to say to [his] students— ‘get down’ or ‘get out of the room.’”

The buck landed a few feet from the window, shocking the entire class. Just as Professor Reynolds saw it, a student yelled out, “There’s a deer in the room!” Ironically, this relieved the professor, and clarified his plan of action.

In an interview, Arnold said that Reynolds “did a great job handling this incident.” Once security arrived on the scene, they attempted to remove the deer from the classroom.

The deer, which was injured by its jump through the window, was clearly confused and afraid, and moved neither through the path that security personnel cleared for him, nor through the side door of Kaplan Hall, which had been opened for its exit. According to Arnold, the deer “was trying to escape through the intact windows, but was unable to actually do so.”

After a few minutes, the deer became exhausted, and Animal Control was called. Because nobody at Animal Control was available at this time, the Newburgh Police Department was called instead. The deer died from exhaustion before the police arrived.

The window that shattered during this incident was repaired this past Friday, October 25. Reynolds was given a memento of the incident at a general faculty meeting—a stuffed deer, which he has since given to his daughters.

“When this was happening, I didn’t care that the room was being damaged, I only cared about my students,” Reynolds said. “As a teacher, you are the captain of the ship; you have to be the last line of defense.”