“Lefty” the one horn, white-tailed deer whose fate became entangled in a daylong feud between New York city and state offices died Friday from the stress of captivity, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said.
The one-antlered buck named Lefty died while awaiting potential transportation upstate, said Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Its death came after an extraordinary political tussle between the city and state over whether to transfer the deer upstate or euthanize it.
“Unfortunately, the deer has died due to stress,” said Sam Biederman, a spokesman for the parks department. “This is why the city’s preference in this circumstance was humane euthanasia rather than subjecting the animal to the stress of transportation and relocation.”
The city announced plans on Thursday to kill the deer, which was captured at the Polo Grounds Towers in Harlem that morning and taken to a nearby animal shelter. His presence at a nearby park had drawn positive and supportive crowds for weeks.
That was when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in, hours after de Blasio had announced plans to euthanize the deer. A spokesman for Cuomo said the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation had advised the city of alternatives to euthanasia. Cuomo‘s spokesman said he had directed the DEC to “offer assistance to the city to transport and find a new habitat for it immediately.”
We don’t think this is the end of Deergate.