University of Findlay’s recent deer crash creates a stir in “Hendoe” Dining Hall

By Kelsey Baughman

University of Findlay Henderson Dining Hall received an unexpected guest, a doe, who made quite a bold entrance smashing through two windows during lunch on Oct. 23.

Paul Pavala, a Senior Computer Science major with an emphasis on Web and Database at the University of Findlay, was one of the students in Henderson Dining Hall to witness the doe crash through the windows.

Pavala was sitting just two tables away from where the deer crashed.

“The deer was hitting its head against the windows a lot,” Pavala said in an email interview. “One of the workers tried to scare the deer, but that didn’t work. At some point, out of nowhere, the deer took a few steps back and charged, finally getting through the window. People started to run from the window where the deer came through, but while it was inside for a few seconds, the deer didn’t move and looked around. Suddenly, it turned around and went through another window.”

Like Pavala, Grace Trepczyk, a Freshman Pre-Vet major at the University of Findlay, also saw the deer crash through Henderson Dining Hall. However, Trepczyk witnessed the deer crashing through the window from her dorm in Lovett Hall. Trepczyk captured the moment by recording a video on Snapchat which has been featured in news articles.

 “I was laying in my bed when I heard a loud thud,” Trepczyk said in an email interview. “I looked outside my window to find a deer repeatedly running into the dining hall windows. Right before I started filming, I jumped out of bed and watched for a few seconds. Then, I thought to myself, ‘Why am I not filming this?!’”

Although Trepczyk and Pavala witnessed the event in different locations, their reactions to the crash were the same.

 “I was feeling pretty bad because the deer seemed very scared and nobody was able to do anything,” Pavala said. “I don’t think it would’ve been recommended to try to get closer to the deer, but the amount of times that the animal hit its head got me worried.”

“It was so surreal watching the deer go in and out the windows. I could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day,” Trepczyk said. “I got at least 30 text messages from people asking me about what happened and to see the video which was crazy.”

Bill Spraw, Chief of Police and Director of Security at the University of Findlay, said as far as they know, the deer survived.

“It was injured somewhat because we followed some blood,” Spraw said. “We lost the tracks on Swing Avenue, just north of Koehler Fitness and Recreation Center.”

Although this event seems unexpected, the University of Findlay has had other occurrences with deer crashing through windows in other buildings in past years like the Davis Street Building and the Alumni Memorial Union (AMU). But, why exactly do deer tend to react this way?

Kelly McGuire, a Customer Service Assistant of the ODNR Wildlife Division, says there’s no specific reason why a deer crashes through a window.

“Deer are naturally timid and anxious creatures,” McGuire said in an email interview. “They are easily scared, easily stressed, easily skittish and they do not recover from trauma well. Deer are large and they tend to take flight, rather than fight, when they are startled. Windows just happen to look like accessible entry to a freaked-out animal who is trying to get away.”

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