Baby Deer Jumps Into Zoo's Lion Exhibit

The last place a wild baby deer wants to find itself in is a lion exhibit at the National Zoo.  Unfortunately, that's exactly where one ended up Sunday afternoon after it wandered out of Rock Creek Park and jumped in.

Two female lions went after the deer and severely injured it, but the deer got away from its predators and made a mad dash for the moat.

Rob Ephraim caught the precarious moments on tape and posted them on YouTube. On the video, you can hear the crowd cheering as the deer makes it over to the moat.

Zoo keepers were able to get the lions back inside the lion house and by that time, the deer had taken shelter behind a tree, according to Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Massan.

Zoo police cleared visitors from the area and the zoo's vet staff went in, sedated the deer and took it to an animal hospital. Its injuries were too serious though and several hours later, after being examined by Zoo experts, the deer was put to sleep.

The National Zoo is part of Rock Creek Park, home to some deer and a lot of wild or "feral" animals like raccoons and chipmunks. Baker-Massan said it's the first time she can remember a deer getting into a carnivore exhibit.

Right now, the zoo has no fence at the area near the park, but is planning to put one up.

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