After 20 days away, missing pet deer is back home
Marty Gerdisch spent the past 20 days searching for his lost pet deer, Abigail, walking through Burlington Township fields and forests with binoculars and a bottle of milk and spreading the word to anyone who might cross the doe's path.
His persistence was rewarded over the weekend, when he answered a call and heard the voice of a young girl who lives a little more than a half-mile from his home.
"Are you still missing your doe?" she asked.
When Gerdisch answered "yes," she told him she thought Abigail was in her backyard.
He immediately drove to the home, but by the time he arrived, Abigail was gone. Searching in a nearby forest, he began calling her name.
"And she (came) running out of that forest and just nuzzles right up to me," he said.
Not only was the 6-month-old deer in good condition, he said, but had grown in her nearly three weeks away from home.
"I tried to put the harness on her and I couldn't fit it," he said.
He called a friend who had a horse trailer, drove Abigail home and put her back in the enclosure. Since then, Abigail has demonstrated she's happy to be home.
"She has been nuzzling me every second," Gerdisch said. "Sunday morning when I went out there, she was just crying for me. It was just weird, because she never really makes too much noise unless you give her milk."
Abigail went missing earlier this month after a branch fell on her enclosure during a storm, allowing her to jump out and run away.
Gerdisch plans to reinforce and enlarge the enclosure to prevent similar incidents in the future.
"I literally have been walking the fields in the forest for 20 days," he said.