NORWALK, Conn. – Visitors to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk are used to seeing otters, sharks, rays and jellyfish, but now they can add deer to the list. One adventurous deer surprised spectators by hopping into the seal tank Tuesday afternoon.
Aquarium publicist Dave Sigworth said that there was a crowd of people around the indoor/outdoor seal tank at around 1:45 p.m. for a public feeding. "The deer swam across the river and came up to our courtyard. Much to its surprise, and the surprise of everyone around, it jumped right over the wall into the seal exhibit."
Maritime employees quickly sprang into action, shuttling people inside so they wouldn't startle the deer. They also kept the seals in the indoor portion of the tank. The deer paddled around in the water for about 20 to 30 minutes while workers set up a ramp so it would be able to leave.
Eventually it was able to get its forelegs out of the water and start to pull itself up. One employee grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and helped it out. It then bolted around the side of the building, hopped into the river and swam away.
"Deer are actually very good swimmers," Sigworth said. "We have research boats that go out every day, and it's not uncommon for them to see deer swimming around the Norwalk islands."
While seeing deer in the water around the Aquarium is not unusual, this is the first time in the museum's 23 year history that one has made itself part of the show.
Earlier this summer, a Norwalk resident got video of a deer swimming in her pool. You can watch that video here.
Have you ever seen any unusual wildlife going for a swim? Tell us in the comments below.