Update: California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel found and captured the doe Thursday. She was examined by a veterinarian then released back into the wild.
AUBURN — Auburn residents are concerned about a mother deer in the area that has its head stuck in a peanut butter jar.
Sandra Purcell and her husband first spotted the deer in the back of their home Monday evening. Her husband initially thought the deer was holding a plastic water bottle in its mouth but they both quickly knew something wasn’t right.
“It was obvious it was a plastic jar of some sort. And we went to try and get her attention, thinking if she thinks we have a treat she’ll drop it, and she didn’t because it was stuck,” Purcell said.
Knowing the deer was likely distressed and unable to eat or drink, especially with the day’s hot temperatures, Purcell’s husband desperately wanted to help, despite knowing the deer probably wouldn’t let him get too close.
“My husband even laid on the ground in the side yard, trying to get her close enough so he could try to take it off but it didn’t work,” Purcell said.
As night fell, they hoped the deer would return. The track marks near their home indicate that deer often come around their area.
“Woke up this morning and at 7 o’clock, she was out there again,” Purcell told FOX40.
The jar was still intact but she was with her fawn. Purcell says the deer is a mother with babies that depend on her.
The couple had left out a container filled with water large enough for the jar to fit in if the deer tried to drink.
“She was here this morning and she looked at it and I was trying to coax her and she got close to it,” Purcell said. “But I think she’s real disoriented with that jar on her jaw because she didn’t get her head in very far.”
Purcell reached out to the local animal rescue places, along with Fish and Wildlife. FOX40 spoke with Fish and Wildlife, who say they’re still assessing the situation.
“Time is really of the essence with the hot weather and her not being able to get water at least,” Purcell said.
Purcell believes the deer is a survivor, like herself. She beat breast cancer five years ago. She says the beauty of Auburn helped with her healing process.
“Having the deer around just really comforted me at that time, a really difficult time in my life. I just wanna help them,” Purcell said. “They helped me without even trying. So I wanna try and help them.”