Homeowner says 'clean cut' might have been caused by a person but police suspect other animals may be responsible for grisly incident
Gordon Cutts woke up to a gruesome surprise on Sunday — something, possibly somebody, had left a severed fawn head at the end of his driveway.
Cutts, a resident of Victoria Street, contacted The Lake Report after reporting the incident to police.
He said the scene left him disturbed.
When he went to remove it, he noticed the neck had been clean cut, indicating to him and the police officer who responded that it was not an animal that killed the young deer.
“This was a clean cut, and no drag marks, no blood,” Cutts said.
He said the police officer also said it didn’t appear to be the result of a vehicle or a coyote.
Cutts suspects the cut could have only been made by a human.
However, a Niagara Regional Police spokesperson told The Lake Report late Wednesday that the discovery is not being treated as a criminal incident and investigators believe the deer head was “left behind by other animals in the area.”
The force will “continue to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources to investigate any occurrences involving incidents of cruelty to animals.”
The fawn and its mother had been seen in recent weeks by neighbours, eating plants in backyards.
“I came home the other week and there was a grown adult deer walking down the middle of the street. (It was) fascinating,” Cutts said.
“I pulled up, watched it. People came out, were watching it eating people’s hostas and flowers and they’re all laughing and one lady said, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s been living in my backyard for a week and it just had a newborn,’ ” he said.
“Everybody thought it was adorable.”
Cutts said he checked with neighbours to ask them if they noticed the head.
One of his neighbours had left the house early in the morning for a bike ride and didn’t notice it when they passed by at 8:30 a.m., but another neighbour saw it around 9:30 a.m., so he figures it was left there sometime in between.
“This is amateur detective work,” he said.
He noted he doesn’t think there would be any reason somebody would be targeting his house to leave dead animal parts around.
He said he hopes letting people know about it raises more awareness that there might be somebody doing these kinds of things.
Cutts said he hasn’t been sleeping well since.
“I had nightmares last night,” he said Monday.
“I just love animals so much and to see that, even snapping turtles, I mean, they’re ugly, nasty things. I see them on the side of the road I’ll stop and I’ll risk getting bitten to move them into the ditch so they don’t get hit by a car. So imagine what a beautiful fawn does to you.”
“It’s disturbing to say the least,” Cutts said.
A deer was also found drowned last Friday in Port Dalhousie with a rope tied to its hoof, the St. Catharines Standard reported. The same story also mentioned a Niagara Falls resident had found the remains of three deer in the Niagara Gorge a week earlier.