Officials safely move evicted deer from Glendale to Queen Creek farm
- Officials safely move evicted deer from Glendale to Queen Creek farm
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 23, 2007 01:40 PM
Nearly four dozen deer were trucked across the Valley safe and sound
Saturday after workers spent hours herding them in the stifling Arizona sun.
The wild animals, evicted from their pasture in Glendale, arrived at their
new home in Queen Creek's Schnepf Farm around 10 a.m., officials said.
After three hours of trying to prod the deer into two trucks, volunteers at
7 a.m. were forced to whip out tranquilizing guns.
Three shots later, workers decided to reposition the trucks and were able to
herd the deer into the trucks successfully, said the deer's owner Arthur
"It was a blessing," Thruston said.
With the unforgiving heat showing no signs of letting up today, the effort
had its low points.
"This isn't the time you're supposed to move deer," Thruston said. "They ran
around quite a bit and were stressed, huffing and puffing big time."
Workers initially thought they would have to tranquilize all 46 of the wild
animals - a move that could have taken all afternoon and cost up to $5,000,
said Carrie Schnepf, marketing director for Schnepf Farms.
Officials thought a good share of the deer wouldn't make it.
"We thought they might lose 25 to 30 percent of the herd," Schnepf said.
"For what we were expecting, I am just thrilled. It could have really gone
Thruston, 72, had to give up the deer from his two-acre pasture in Glendale
after his landlord slapped him with a notice to vacate the property, near
48th and Orangewood avenues.
In desperation, Thruston contacted Schnepf.
"I jumped at it. I thought (the deer) would be a great addition to the
farm," Schnepf said.
Twenty volunteers, including animal medicine experts, assembled at
Thruston's two-acre pasture this morning to help in the efforts.
Because the deer are a "restricted live wildlife species," the move had to
be approved by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
"They all did the best they could," Thruston said. "We have nothing else to
do now except to clean up the mess."
Rob Davis, a worker from Schnepf Farm, headed up the risky transport,
"He gets things done," she said. "He also built a wonderful two-acre fence
for the deer."
While the deer captivated neighborhood children in Glendale, they can now do
the same at Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, when it re-opens in
September, Schnepf said.
"They'll be visited by thousands and thousands of people," Schnepf said.
"We're really thrilled."
The deer are the last in a menagerie of animals that Thruston kept on his
rural property for more than 20 years, he said.
"They have been a big part of my life," Thruston said. "They're my life and
Schnepf said the deer should be happy in their new quarters.
"We've put them in the middle of our peach orchard. They're away from
traffic and people," she said. "We're going to take really good care of them
because I know (Thruston) did."
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