PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - Wildlife sightings in South Mississippi are a pretty common occurrence but this week, pictures circulating on social media shocked even lifetime coast residents.
Deer on the beach in Pass Christian. It’s a highly unusual sight and one that has been seen at least twice over the last few days. It caused quite a stir among residents in the area and the publisher of the local community newspaper there.
Hunter Dawkins, publisher and CEO of the Gazebo Gazette, said it began on Feb. 9 as wildlife officers tried to catch a deer to test if for chronic wasting disease.
"The wildlife game officer shot a few tranquilizers and because it was very windy, missed on the tranquilizer shots, therefore the deer ran out into the water,” Dawkins said.
Unfortunately, that deer didn’t make it.
“I confirmed that the animal was euthanized," said Dawkins. “They were trying to look for CWD, the chronic wasting disease."
Then, a few day later on Feb. 12, another deer was seen on the beach. Dawkins rushed to get photos of that encounter.
"The animal was almost on a frantic move from Lang Avenue all the way across here and down the beachline,’ Dawkins said.
Pass Christian Police Sergeant Kyle Craig says he also saw the beach-bound deer.
"I got a phone call saying there was a deer in the ocean at U.S. 90 and Lang,” Craig said. “We came down to 90 and Lang, the deer was in the water a pretty good distance from the shoreline, too. It just kept traveling west at that point in time.”
And as the deer continued to head west, it became more elusive.
"Once I got here to snap a picture, the animal took a 45-degree angle back to Fletias Avenue and, in a sense, left the scene,” Dawkins said.
Officials say if you come across any deer, on the beach or anywhere else, you should treat them like any wild animal and immediately report unusual sightings to authorities by calling your local law enforcement agency.