WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — What the buck?
A taxidermied deer was found stuffed into a metal garbage can on the sidewalk at 159th Street and Amsterdam Avenue Tuesday morning, confusing passersby who did a double take as they came across the bizarre scene.
The deer was stuffed upright into the garbage, with its front legs curled into a resting position and its haunches pressed in a seated position in the garbage can.
"What the hell is a damn deer doing up here?" said Viola Johnson, who works at T Entertainment just across the street from where the deer was picked up.
"Is that a real deer? That can't be real," said another bystander, as people took photos and video on their phones.
The deer, which had visible stitches down the front of its torso and screws where the antlers used to be, was first spotted in the garbage some time before 8:15 a.m.
Police stood watch until Department of Sanitation workers could arrive and remove the deer at 9:00 a.m.
DSNY workers dragged the deer to the back of a garbage truck and flipped it into the back of the trash compactor.
Kathy Dawkins, a spokeswoman for the DSNY, said they were summoned to the scene by a 311 call at 8:30 a.m.
While she couldn't immediately say whether it was the first taxidermied deer or animal removed from a city street, "The Department does remove small animals such as deceased dogs and cats which should be wrapped up and placed next to containers or bags for household waste."
She added that for larger animals, the city asks New Yorkers to "call 311 so that a contracted vendor can remove the animal.”