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An NYC Deer Died From Stress On The Way To A Sanctuary And People Are Devastated

RIP #HarlemDeer

Last updated on December 16, 2016, at 3:11 p.m. ET

Posted on December 16, 2016, at 2:51 p.m. ET

In entirely too-close-for-comfort allegorical news, a deer found in New York City's Harlem on Thursday died from stress on Friday while it was en route to a sanctuary upstate, a spokesperson for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

New York Daily News / Getty Images

The white-tailed deer was spotted early Thursday morning in a public housing complex, the New York Times reported, promptly setting off a political war between rivals Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

A de Blasio spokesperson had reportedly said earlier Thursday that the deer, which only had one antler, would be euthanized. A spokesperson for his office told the Times, “It’s not so much a decision as it is, ‘This is the option.’”

New York Daily News / Getty Images

As the rules for capture and relocation of white-tailed deer in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) state that a permit is required to capture and relocate deer, but those "are not issued to relocate deer to the wild because acceptable release sites are not available and because the poor chances for deer survival do not warrant the risks."

But on Thursday evening, and again on Friday Gov. Cuomo announced that the state would work to save the deer’s life.

.@NYSDEC:We want to do everything we can to save the Harlem deer. We have told the city that the feds or we can transport it upstate today.

Eventually, the city and state agreed to transport the deer to a sanctuary in upstate New York, but on Friday afternoon the deer died about an hour into the trip, reportedly due to sustained stress from the past day.

The deer was not euthanized, but died due to "stress from past 24 hours," says Park spox.

A New York City Parks Department spokesperson shot back: "Unfortunately the deer has died due to stress. This is why the City's preference in this circumstance was humane euthanasia rather than subjecting the animal to the stress of transportation and relocation."

Naturally, people are devastated, because 2016 just won't stop.

May he rest in peace. #RipDeerGod #harlemdeer #Victimsof2016

Tell me #HarlemDeer is in a better place, deer god.

Any other year: Just let them have this one thing.... 2016: The deer dies


RIP #HarlemDeer. May justice be served.

"We offered yesterday to take possession of the deer and transport it to a suitable habitat. The City did not accept our offer until just before noon, and while we were arriving on scene the deer died in the City's possession," the DEC said in a statement Friday.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Mayor de Blasio's office.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.