EUGENE, Ore. - A deer got its antlers caught in Christmas lights on Monday.
"It was seen yesterday morning dragging these lights behind it," wildlife biologist Brian Wolfer with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday, "and originally the bundle of lights were pretty loose but as the morning wore off it started tightening up around the deer's neck."
"If the lights had just been wrapped around the antlers, it wouldn't have been a big deal because the bucks will shed their antlers in late winter so it would have lost the lights at that point," Wolfer said, "but because it was wrapped around the deer's neck it had the ability to restrict air flow or restrict the ability to eat or swallow."
Biologists tranquilized the deer so they could untangle the strand of lights from its antlers and throat.
The incident happened in the neighborhood near Chambers Street and 25th Avenue.
Deer are rutting this time of year. During the rut, male deer rub their antlers on trees and fight with each other as part of the mating process.
In urban areas, deer in rut often get tangled in Christmas lights, hammocks and other things the dangle from trees, ODFW told KVAL News.
"When winter comes it's a good idea to hang your lights up on your house or higher up in your trees," Wolfer said. "If you got them in the shrubbery you could entangle the deer and ultimately cost the deer it's life."