Monday, June 01, 2015

Bend, Ore. media takes unusual approach of giving famed mule deer an obit to honor local treasure

The community of Bend, Ore. is mourning the loss of one of its own—a mule deer that has not only won over the hearts of locals, but has become a famed tourist attraction that over the years has drawn numerous visitors hoping to catch a glimpse, or snap a photo of the animal. Buck Norris has become such a staple of Bend that local news media are reporting his death—he was hit by a car on Friday—in much the same way they would if he were a human by giving him a sendoff with an obituary. Buck was estimated to be 9 to 10 years old. (Twitter photo by LeAnna Hash: Buck Norris)

Locals viewed Buck Norris as one of the community, reports KTVZ in Bend. Longtime Bend resident Steve Mathers, who said he first saw Buck Norris in his backyard a few years ago, told KTVZ, "The first time I saw him—that's when I got my best pictures of him. He was just wandering. He was not afraid of people. You could get fairly close to him and get good pictures."

The deer's familiarity with people most likely led to his death, KTVZ reports. Officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said that "while Buck Norris’ habit of staying within Bend city limits helped protect him to an older age, it finally put him at risk." (Read more)

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