The deer sighting in Douglaston, reported in The Queens Courier on June 14, was no fairy tale. There are two, probably a doe and her fawn, according to a Parks Department source, and they’re heading west.
Department of Transportation workers spotted two deer moving along a green space in Kew Gardens, about three weeks ago.
According to Janice Melnick, Northeast Parks Administrator for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, “I heard about it, but didn’t get the report first hand, so technically it’s hearsay.”
“I suppose they found good shelter in the tall grass behind the Alley Pond Environmental Center,” she said, “I wonder why they left that area.”
Nobody is sure where the deer came from. Melnick doubts that they could have migrated over from the Bronx, “although it’s possible,” and the suspicion is that they may have followed a route along the parkways, parks and golf courses which create virtual green belts from the natural deer habitat on eastern Long Island.
Melnick is worried. “They could make out alright in Forest Park, which is huge, but if they ventured any further west, I don’t hold out much hope.” The large expanse of grassland in the large cemeteries which abut the park could provide relative seclusion and feed, she acknowledged.
“We had a couple of deer in Alley Pond Park two or three years ago,” she recalled with a tinge of sadness. “Eventually both were hit by cars.”
According to the National Safety Council, there are over half a million auto accidents involving deer every year. In 2003, 100 people died and 10,000 were injured in vehicle accidents involving deer.