The forest preserve in Cook County where “Blondie,” the world-famous non-typical buck lived, was closed off Monday afternoon.
That led to all sorts of speculation about what was happening.
But Stacina Stagner, communications manager for the Forest Preserves of Cook County, emailed this explanation late Tuesday afternoon:
Preserves Police Department had been receiving reports that there was a substantial amount of people at the site of the deer, and that some people were following the deer around. Forest Preserves staff determined that for the safety of the animal – as well as safety of humans – the unusually large antlers needed to be removed. The deer was temporarily apprehended and during apprehension, the antlers came off. The deer was administered medical assistance, tagged and then released.
As a point of fact, a group of individuals had been following and watching the buck for weeks as the time to drop antlers neared. Typically, whitetail bucks drop their antlers in winter, usually half have by mid-February.
“That is the best thing that could have happened,” said one of Blondie’s followers, who was concerned about how many people were monitoring the buck and what their motives might be.
The antlers will be turned over to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, though that was news to the IDNR’s communications office as of late Tuesday afternoon.
More to come.