Officials on scene in Seaside Heights say they will not attempt to forcibly remove a six-point buck that has been roaming the beach and occasionally swimming all day Wednesday.
The deer was being spotted throughout the day Wednesday, at one point swimming from Ortley Beach to Seaside Heights. During the late afternoon into the evening, the deer was at the Hiering Avenue beach in Seaside Heights, drawing a crowd of onlookers.
A state fish and wildlife officers on scene said officials are hopeful the deer will eventually leave on his own when he becomes hungry. Police and wildlife officials decided against approaching the deer, which could raise his stress level. At one point, a fish and wildlife officer asked a number of people standing on a portion of the boardwalk to move a bit, as the deer was looking at them and may have been scared to leave the beach.
The deer looked to be in good health, though it occasionally sat down at the waters’ edge as small waves broke. Officials believe the deer may be nervous about his unfamiliar surroundings, but will leave the area frequented by the public when he returns to his food source to eat.
Though rarely visible to humans, deer are native to the northern barrier island – mainly in Island Beach State Park.