100,000 people want the arrow out of this deer’s face – Watch
It's not a good look.
For nearly a year, the doe nicknamed Grace has been making her way through the Marlboro area with an arrow lodged in her face. And though state officials say she's more or less doing OK, more than 100,000 people have signed on to a petition to have it removed.
"It looks unsightly," said state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna. "And obviously people are concerned, and we share their concerns."
The DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife wants the arrow out, too, Hajna said. And it's been trying, he said, but circumstances have gotten in the way.
DEP officials couldn't quite catch up with Grace last winter, and then during the fawning season, she got pregnant, Hajna said. The DEP was worried a tranquilizer could harm her unborn fawn, so it waited for the fawn to be born.
Not that Grace's fawn is out and about, the DEP's looking for another opportunity, he said. How quickly that may come is hard to say.
"It’s sheer luck really – deer can move pretty quickly," Hajna said. "A lot of times our technicians are not five minutes away."
Steve Hindi — president of the activist Showing Animals Respect and Kindness group, or SHARK — said he's not convinced the DEP did enough to try to track Grace down. But he's also supportive of the effort to do so now, he said.
Hanja said for the most part, the arrow doesn't appear to have hurt Grace's health. It impacted her fairly hollow nasal cavity, and she's been getting around for months despite the protrusion.
But Hindi said he's not satisfied Grace could be OK in the long run.
"Can you imagine what that would be like if it’s bumped by her fawn?" he said. "She needs to be able to walk though the woods, turn her head — she needs to be able to eat. This is a problem."
The online petition, signed by more than 103,000 people from all over the globe as of mid-day Monday — also asks officials to consider making Marlboro a no-hunting zone.
"This petition is to make sure that NJ Fish and Wildlife follow through their promise to help Grace as soon as practical," petitioner Poh Yee Holmes writes. "Let's make sure they do not forget about her!"
Hajna said the DEP's been in touch with the petitioner, and communicated the agency's desire to help Grace as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
"I believe the reason they’re doing something now is a spotlight," Hindi said. "we’re not going to take that spotlight off until it’s resolved."
SHARK recently produced the above below in hopes of rallying support for Grace.