Wildlife officers shoot deer injured along I-5

EVERETT — When a big buck broke its leg along I-5 through Everett on Tuesday morning, state Fish and Wildlife officials had no choice but to kill the animal.

“We had to put the deer down,” Capt. Bill Hebner said.

The deer was found along the east side of the freeway just north of the 41st Street interchange.

Deer and elk are struck by vehicles daily throughout Western Washington, but it’s unusual for animals to be found so near downtown Everett.

The explanation may be that during the fall, male deer are known to roam while looking for a mate, he said.

State Department of Transportation workers called wildlife officers just before 9 a.m. after discovering the deer lying on his side. They believe the animal likely was injured in an accident with a vehicle.

A fence prevented the buck from running away, leaving the busy freeway the only other place for the animal to run.

“It would have been a terrible disaster,” Hebner said. The big animal could have caused a serious injury accident.

Washington State Patrol troopers shut down the northbound lanes of I-5 for a few minutes while the wildlife officers shot the deer.

A group of people watched from outside the Everett Gospel Mission, including Beverly Bowers and her friend Kathleen Conway, who were waiting in line to shop at the thrift store.

At first, Bowers believed the officials were tranquilizing the deer. When she learned instead that the deer was killed, she started to cry and became upset.

Officials explained to her that the animal was badly hurt and couldn’t be saved.

“I’m glad they put it out of its misery,” she said.

It can take up to five minutes for a tranquilizer to immobilize a deer, Hebner said. That wouldn’t have been fast enough to ensure the animal didn’t try to get away and wind up getting struck by a vehicle driving highway speeds.

If officials determine the remains are suitable for human consumption, they’ll be donated to the Stillaguamish tribes, Hebner said. Otherwise, the carcass will be donated to wildlife game preserves to be fed to animals.

“We don’t waste the meat,” Hebner said.

Reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437 or jholtz@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

In this photo posted to the Washington state Department of Ecology website and taken by the U.S. Coast Guard, people watch as emergency crews respond to the Walla Walla passenger ferry, which ran aground near Bainbridge Island west of Seattle, Saturday, April 15, 2023. (Lt. Cmdr. Brian Dykens/U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
Edmonds-Kingston shuffle: 64-car ferry replaces 202-car boat, for now

The system-wide boat swap stems from the vessel Walla Walla out of service for four weeks for repairs.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Most Read