Updated Nov. 8 at 1:50 a.m.
A deer was trapped in the vestibule of the Morriss Hall lounge on Pembroke campus Sunday afternoon, leading to a prompt student evacuation. The University’s Department of Public Safety and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management officials arrived shortly after. No students were reported injured.
At 5:30 p.m., environmental police officials tranquilized the deer inside the entrance of Morriss lounge. At 5:56 p.m., an environmental police vehicle arrived outside the entrance to Morriss lounge to collect the deer. The deer was loaded onto the truck and transported by four officers.
According to student eyewitnesses, the deer broke through a glass window to enter the lounge.
“One antler snapped off, and the other stayed on its head," said Morriss resident Luke Esposito ’25.
“We heard glass breaking,” said Morriss resident Nora Starhill ’25. “We thought someone threw a rock.”
The deer then entered and was trapped inside the lounge’s vestibule, the space between the lounge’s main entrance and the doors leading to the study space.
Following the deer’s arrival, students “just ran out through the fire door,” said Morriss resident Katie Clerkin ’25. Soon after, any students still in the building were evacuated by an area coordinator, who declined to comment on the situation.
Students gathered outside the parking lot in front of Champlin Hall as DPS officials arrived. DPS could not immediately be reached for comment on the situation.
Following the incident, “Facilities Management assisted on site to fix damage at the entryway,” University Spokesperson Brian Clark wrote in an email to The Herald.
Deer will occasionally break through windows and enter buildings, according to Scott Birdman, environmental police officer for the RIDEM, who was present at the scene. “We have to tranquilize several deer a year,” he said.
Although the deer was likely native to the area, it could react dangerously if released into an urban environment, posing a danger to itself and students, Birdman explained.
The deer was released into the wild later in the evening following a health inspection, according to Birdman.
“We moved it to a wooded area in the northwest part of the state,” he said. “It should live a healthy life.”