'Steve Martin' deer gets arrow removed
"Little Steve Martin" finally had the arrow removed from his head over the weekend.
The young deer, with an arrow tip poking out one side of its jaw and a long shaft protuding out the other, was spotted on Nov. 1 by "sort of a farmer" Susan Darrah, who raises llamas in Rockaway Township, N.J.
She posted a message -- "Want to know what sucks? THIS!!" -- along with a photo on Facebook.
A local animal control officer's initial attempts at rescue were unsuccessful, but New Jersey Fish & Wildlife officers started making daily visits on Thursday, after Darrah reported seeing the yearling return on Wednesday.
She had been putting out corn and apples to lure deer near her house, where she lives with her adopted Afghan hound, Sir Lancelot, on ten acres.
Early Saturday evening, a sharpshooter hit the deer with a tranquilizing projectile from her second-story workshop.
The deer wandered off a bit and dropped, Darrah said. The agents unscrewed the arrow tip, pulled out the shaft, and noting hardly any infection, applied a topical antibiotic, then injected a longer-acting antibiotic.
"We sat there and patted him and held him," Darrah said this morning. The deer wobbled away, laid down again, then wandered off.
"And yesterday he came back to get something to eat," said Darrah, who's lived in New Jersey for more than 20 years.
"I am so happy. that we were able to save him and he's doing well," she said. "... I am glad that in in today's world there's a happy story with a happy ending. I think we all need that."
The only way to improve on the ending would be for the real Steve Martin to contact her. The comedian and actor is known, of course, for sometimes wearing a fake arrow through his head on stage.
"With all this worldwide attention, you'd think it would have reached him by now," she said. "Maybe we can work on a childrens' book together. ... If he does reach you, you may give him my phone number."
She's heard from friends who saw reports in Nairobi and the Netherlands, and has gotten messages from all over Europe and Africa, as well as the United States.
She's never seen hunters on her property, but the deer might have wandered over to the open land of Wildcat Ridge, where people with permits can hunt.
She hopes the deer doesn't stay back there. "Hopefully, he's smart enough to know he's safe on the Susangeti," she laughed, alluding to Africa's famed wilderness area, the Serengeti.
"I can't say enough wonderful things about the Fish & Wildlife people," said Darrah, who also once saved a raccoon and named it Nancy, because of a Beatles song.
"I am not against the hunt," she added. "Otherwise, we'd be overrun with deer. ... And I'd much rather see them taken down for food than starving through the winter."
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.