SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It is a deer in distress.
A young mother deer with its mouth stuck inside a jar has been spotted in the past several days in Placer County, California is unable to eat or drink.
The deer likely has no idea what the weird thing wedged on its snout is, and why it won’t come off. A closer look shows a jar that appears to be Trader Joe’s peanut butter jar jammed onto the lower jaw of the animal.
“My suspicion is it might have been used for baiting, deer for hunting,” neighbor Sandra Purcell told KOVR-TV’s Steve Large.
The deer comes to Purcell and Debra Twardus’ backyards daily.
“You can tell she just wants to eat,” Twardus said. “You know, she’s hungry, she’s thirsty.”
The neighbors want state wildlife biologists to help free her.
In one moment caught on camera, the deer is seemingly struggling either to dislodge the jar or to nibble on grass it can’t get to.
“So you can see her trying, and then she starts whining, so that tears at my heart,” Twardus said.
“This is a human-caused problem, I think we need to fix it,” Purcell said.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has not assessed the deer.
“Sometimes a rescue effort can be dangerous to people and the animal,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Kyle Orr said. “Sometimes it can be better to let the animal dislodge it itself.”
So far it’s unclear whether a rescue will be in the works.
“I don’t want her to die, because without water, in this kind of heat, she’s not going to last long,” Purcell said.
A struggling animal and a heart-wrenching wait. Will it finally be freed?
“She deserves a fighting chance,” Twardus said.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has not received any official request for help so far. The agency spokesperson also said it is illegal for any private citizens to take possession of the deer in order to rescue it.