Why did the buck cross the road?
To crash into a Jeep—as suggested in a video recorded late last month.
The clip, taken on Mariner Drive in Southampton Village, captures a buck gracefully hurdling over hedges and onto the street, where it then attempts to continue its athleticism by jumping over a moving black Jeep.
But it epically fails and instead, not-so-gracefully, crashes into the side of the vehicle.
After the car stops, however, the animal simply gets up and moves along, galloping into the woods and out of sight. The buck has not appeared to have pressed charges against the driver.
On a more serious note, the recording sparked local wildlife experts to stress the importance of motorists keeping a close eye for animals while driving.
After watching the video Monday, Dell Cullum, a local naturalist and photographer who served as the executive director of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife until September, wrote in an email that the buck was most likely reacting in fear to being enclosed in the hedged-in area nearby. If speed limits everywhere were better enforced, he said, incidents like that could be avoided.
“The deer is stressed as it tries to find safety, with vehicular distractions at every turn. Timing was the culprit of this outcome,” Mr. Cullum stated. “The drivers are almost always speeding and cannot stop in time, while others swerve into trees and die—not because of the deer, but because of speeding and reckless driving.
“Sure, it happens, but it’s clearly an act of nature and not cause for human culling of the deer population,” Mr. Cullum continued. “This animal certainly sustained severe road rash or injuries from vehicle parts. It could even have sustained internal injuries or head trauma, just like a person would. There’s even a chance the animal made it around the corner, or into a nearby yard, and collapsed.”
Mr. Cullum also questioned the nature of the recording, specifically about how the person filming the video came about timing it perfectly. Who recorded the clip was not immediately clear.
“A horn blast could have misdirected the deer and got the motorist’s attention, and possibly caused them to slow down,” Mr. Cullum wrote. “This guy just captures it all without a peep. He didn’t even react when the deer leaped into the side of the Jeep.”