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Fate of beloved Harlem deer with one antler captured by police remains unclear

Posted at 11:15 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 02:47:06-05

HARLEM, Manhattan — Harlem's beloved white-tailed buck that was captured and set to be euthanized may have escaped death after all.

NYPD cops captured the deer with one antler when he got trapped on a Harlem housing complex's property Thursday.

A city spokeswoman said the deer posed as "a risk to public safety."

"We do not intend to release the deer back into the busy and dense borough of Manhattan," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

State regulations make it illegal to relocate the animal and move him across county lines. The city initially said since it did not intend to let him roam around Harlem, the deer will be humanely euthanized.

Residents and deer fans were shocked when they first heard the deer was expected to be euthanized.

"Apparently it's like a famous deer, it has its own online presence," Harlem resident Daniel told PIX11 News. "People follow it they are a fan of it."

However, PIX11 News learned Thursday evening Governor Andrew Cuomo's office has offered to help relocate the animal despite initial reports.

The deer spent the night at the Animal Care & Control Center in East Harlem waiting for the city's next move.

The buck became a local celebrity when it was first spotted at Jackie Robinson Park located between 145th and 155th streets. It's unclear how he got there, but some say he might have crossed the Harlem River from the Bronx.

The deer has since made the park his new home and has been spotted roaming the area. Crowds of people came to get a glimpse of him, pet and give him little treats.

On Thursday, PIX11 News caught video of him inside the Polo Grounds Towers housing development. Residents tried to pet it as he frolicked around them and appeared to be in his own element.