Deer runs into grocery store

Dec. 24, 2009 at 6:05 PM

BOOT RANCH, Fla., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Workers at a Florida grocery store said a deer that ran into the store for some last-minute Christmas shopping was released back into the wild.

Employees of the Publix in Boot Ranch said the approximately 150-pound male deer ran into the store at about 1:30 p.m. through the open front door and barreled into a pet supply display, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

"A lady walked into his path and he veered to the right, just past the checkout lines," Salvation Army bell ringer Joel Sheets said. "I guess that's when some of the store workers tackled him."

The employees said they wrestled the animal to the floor and Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrived and blindfolded the deer to keep it calm.

Rick Chaboudy, executive director of the non-profit Suncoast Animal League, which store employees called for help, said the deer had a minor concussion from being hit by a car near the store.

"This is mating season, therefore the deer are kind of crazy," Chaboudy said. "They don't have too much sense about them."

Chaboudy said he and his assistant, veterinary technician Erica Hinz, released the deer at the Brooker Creek Preserve.

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