Oh Deer! Animal Breaks Into Ontario Rec Centre And Jumps Into Its Pool | CBC News


Municipal officials said a deer smashed through a window to get in during a swimming lesson at a recreation centre in London, Ont., and part of the drama was captured on a parent’s cellphone video. No one was injured.

Erie Wildlife Rescue manager suggests anyone dealing with deer should ‘just back off’ CBC News

· Posted: Feb 26, 2024 7:59 AM EST | Last Updated: 9 hours ago

A deer smashed its way through glass of a LaSalle, Ont., rec centre on Sunday and then jumped into the pool. (Francesco Siino/Facebook)The Vollmer Centre pool will remain closed “until further notice,” the Town of LaSalle said Monday night, after someone stepped on broken glass, a remnant of the weekend’s excitement when a deer crashed through a window and into the pool. 

The town had originally re-opened the pool Monday around 4:30 after the pool had been cleaned, the town said in a statement. 

But on Monday night, a swim participant cut their foot on glass at the bottom of the pool. 

“Although the pool had been vacuumed for several hours today, and has also been backwashed, it is difficult to see glass on the bottom of the pool, the town said. “Staff are considering further maintenance options including the services of a scuba diver to scan the bottom of the pool.”

LaSalle man films deer in swimming poolFrancesco Siino said he was at his son’s Sunday afternoon swimming lesson when a deer smashed its way into a LaSalle, Ont., recreation centre and jumped into the pool — and he captured some of the shocking images with this phone.

“Y’all wouldn’t believe me if I told you a deer broke into the Vollmer Recreation Complex would ya,” he posted on Facebook accompanying a video of the unexpected visitor.

WATCH | Deer jumps into indoor swimming pool at Ontario rec centre: 

Deer breaks into Ontario rec centre and jumps into poolA deer busted through a window of a LaSalle, Ont., recreation centre and jumped into a swimming pool on Feb. 25, 2024. (Video by Francesco Siino)

Siino told CBC News he was in the change room of the municipal recreation centre with his young son when he heard people saying there was a deer in the pool and he went to check it out. 

“I realized that it was happening when a bunch of parents and staff started rushing into the changing room areas,” he said. “I started walking out there and I start videotaping and I had a staff member say, ‘hey, put your phone away, we don’t need this on video.’ 

“I’m like, dude, if I don’t get this on video, like no one’s gonna believe me,” Siino said. 

Patti Funaro, the town’s director of culture and recreation, said the deer “popped over the guardrails” after breaking through a window on the north side of the pool area at around 2:45 p.m.. 

“Took a little swim before staff were able to coax it out the front doors of the building through the lobby area,” Funaro said. 

Staff quickly evacuated the area, she said, noting a variety of children’s swimming lessons were in progress and about 30 people were in the pool. 

It took about 15 minutes from start to finish to remove the deer from the area, Funaro said.

Staff believe the deer may have been injured by the glass when it entered the pool area, judging by a small amount of blood. 

“Because of that we’re we’re handling it as if there was some contamination in the pool,” Funaro said. “We’re following public health guidelines to increase the chlorine and those sorts of things. So that’s what’s taking the time to get things all cleaned up.”

The town said there were no injuries to staff or members of the public. 

Health unit signs off on pool reopeningSiino said he was most concerned for the staff, but the deer seemed confused. 

He said it’s the first time he has ever seen anything like it. 

“Crazy — it was absolutely insane.”  

WATCH | Deer swims in indoor rec centre pool, then jumps out: 

Deer swims in indoor municipal pool in southwestern OntarioA deer swam in an indoor municipal pool in southwestern Ontario after breaking into the complex through a window on Feb. 25, 2024. (Video by Francesco Siino)

The town said Monday afternoon the hot tub would remain closed as maintenance continues. The deck and equipment have been disinfected. 

Best advice is to ‘back off,’ wildlife expert saysEllen Hedges, the animal care manager at Erie Wildlife Rescue, said both staff and the deer were lucky they weren’t injured in the encounter. 

Hedges said deer have strong legs and sharp hooves, so a kick could definitely injure a person, even though the animal isn’t intending to attack, but is trying to simply get away.

“In most cases when you’re dealing with deer, the best advice is move back, just back off, because these animals are very high stress and when they stress out, they react, they’ll bolt, they’ll try and get away from you.”

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