Cindy Laursen's car after a deer ran into it outside of Haywood Mall. (Courtesy Cindy Laursen)
The deer jumps at one of Anytime Fitness' doors. (Courtesy Anytime Fitness)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Deer have been seen in unexpected places across the Upstate recently, outside of gyms, shopping malls and popular roads.
One Upstate woman said she encountered a white-tailed deer where drivers would least expect it - in front of the Haywood Mall.
"I was just driving, minding my own business and thinking what my next errand was going to be, and then bam it just hit me and scared me," said Cindy Laursen.
She wasn't driving on a rural road like you might expect when a deer hit the right side of her car, crushing it and sending it to the shop.
"I was totally shocked," Laursen said.
The accident happened in the middle of the day in front of the mall. Laursen said the responding police officer told her they had gotten a call earlier in the day about a deer trying to get into Macy's.
"At least it had good taste," Laursen said.
Earlier the same week another deer slammed into the door of Anytime Fitness in Spartanburg. The deer crashed multiple times into the gym's front doors and was caught on surveillance.
Greg Lucas with the Department of Natural Resources says a few of these encounters happen every year, and were probably just as much of a shock for the deer involved.
"When they get in an urban environment they get overwhelmed with noises, horns, trains, people," Lucas said. "It's very different than woodland or field sounds they're used to. They hit a lot of stimuli they're not used to and just act differently than normal."
But we're now well into the breeding season for deer, which happens in late October, early November every year. Lucas said that might explain why this deer was behaving so oddly.
"Deer like other animals, see themselves in the reflection of glass, and especially male deer, and bucks will try to fight that reflection," Lucas said. "That would be typical behavior to see two bucks, fighting, battling for space."
South Carolina Wildlife officials said the deer population is actually where it has been the last several years and is significantly smaller than it was 10 years ago.
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