Supermarket's automatic doors an invitation for deer

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This little deer went to market: Wild time at Kroger

By Stephen Gurr , Athens Banner Herald
sgurr@onlineathens.com


  Bambi made an appearance at the east-side Kroger Wednesday morning, but not to look for deals on fresh acorns.

  An obviously lost deer wandered into the College Station Road grocery store about 8 a.m., startling customers not used to seeing wildlife on their supermarket trips. The deer trotted through two sets of automatic doors before making a wild tear for the dairy section, Kroger Assistant Manager Kelley Minish said. Oddly, the deer showed no interest in the produce section.

  ''I think it was just scared to death,'' Minish said. ''It busted its nose or lip on the front glass, took off running between registers 10 and 11 and ran down aisle two.''

  Minish said the deer vaulted over an ''aisle case'' -- the free-standing refrigeration units that contain meats or dairy products at the rear of the store -- before being intercepted by a pair of heads-up employees near the meat department.

  Like a lasso-twirling cowboy at a rodeo, meat market manager John Mobley grabbed the deer around the neck while co-worker Jerry Peterson snagged its rear legs. The two men muscled the deer out the back door, where it gladly scampered off for the wilderness. The animal didn't appear to be seriously hurt, Minish said.

  ''It turned out not to be very bad,'' Minish said. ''If they hadn't grabbed it, there's no telling what it could have torn up.''

  Minish said customers were asking all day about the runaway deer.
  ''I wish I would have had a camera,'' he said.
 

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