Dawn Anatra was startled recently while driving north on Douglaston Parkway when she saw a deer running alongside her car.
“I had just dropped my daughter off at school and was headed back to the house when I saw it out of the corner of my eye,” Anatra said. “For a split second I thought it was a big dog, but it was a small deer - it was up on the sidewalk, actually,” she added.
Apparently, the animal had run up the Long Island Expressway ramp that borders on the Little Neck Bay wetlands in the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 6. According to Douglaston resident Anatra, it headed west on 53rd Avenue, which leads back to a wild area bordering the wetlands.
She should not have been shocked, according to a spokesperson for the Parks Department, who told The Queens Courier, “There are deer in many of Queens’ Parks.” Nevertheless, the news came as a surprise to office workers at nearby Alley Pond Environmental Center.
Anatra’s husband, John gained notoriety last month, when he helped rescue eight children who were trapped when a school bus was rammed by a stolen SUV, just blocks from the deer sighting. Husband and wife agree on one thing, “People need to slow down on Douglaston Parkway.”
Parks confirms that White Tailed Deer are native to the area, and their population in the city is increasing. They have no aggressive tendencies and their defense is flight. The animals are good swimmers, and can jump an 8-foot fence from a standstill.