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Saltwater Deer: Swimming in Mobile Bay

Deer swimming in Mobile Bay 1/4-1/2 mile offshore SOURCE: TNC/Rebekah Farmer
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 11:52 AM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WBRC) - Judy Haner is the Marine Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, an organization which links science and people. Part of that mission includes protecting the shoreline along the Alabama Gulf Coast to help ensure the shoreline, the people and the animals can coexist. The team was out in Mobile Bay gathering some data last week when something a little out-of-the ordinary happened.

Even Judy had to laugh at the sight, “We were almost passed by a deer swimming out into Mobile Bay! She was about a half-mile or so offshore and with the low tides and north wind, was bounding through the 1-2 ft. deep water at a good pace! We got to within 30 ft. or so, but I had a brief moment of panic thinking she might actually try to jump in the boat, so we pulled away!”

The doe was caught on camera by an intern, Rebekah, who was new to the program and she asked, “Is this unusual?”

Judy confirmed it certainly was and admitted it was a bit strange to be in a boat being outrun by a deer.

Despite the excitement cause by the unusual sight, after getting within 30-feet of the bounding deer Judy said, “We’re in a foot of water! If that deer wants to get in the boat...not good!”

Judy admits she’s not sure what the doe was doing in the water, but both the deer and the group decided it was time to part ways. It’s all about staying in your lane.

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