Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When the news gets wild

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Folks who have been following my (and WSIL) social media today know that one of our reporters, Dave Davis had a run-in with a deer on live TV. The incident was caught on camera as Dave was updating viewers after a morning of heavy rain and storms. Sadly, the deer died as a result. You can see the whole incident via this link.

That look you have after a coworker hits a deer on live TV.
The situation reminded me that after years of having animals on the morning news, we've had a few interesting incidents. Of course, there was the llama drama of 2011. That story can be read here. But I've had some other fun moments with wildlife on News 3 This Morning. Unfortunately, these were in an era before social media and smartphones so the clips aren't available.

Not the deer in question
About a decade ago we had a guest from the Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation in Williamson County on with a baby deer. Bev Shofstall has been caring for injured or orphaned animals since 1988. She and her team help the animals become strong enough to go back into the wild. One morning she brought in a baby deer. We were doing the segment outside and the little guy wiggled his way out of the enclosure and took off for the busy highway several hundred feet from our studio.

This was moments before we were to go live. But more importantly, I was worried this fawn was going to become road kill. So I sprinted behind the little fella and did a slide tackle to stop him from running into rush hour traffic on Route 13. I carried him back to the enclosure with time to spare. 

Another moment that sticks out was the morning Bev brought a vulture on the set. I commented on how ugly this big bird was and he started flapping his wings, sending the scripts flying. Then for good measure, after the segment was over, he pooped all over the floor of the set. I never insulted another animal on the show after that.

We've had snakes, rodents and other critters on countless times before. With these few exceptions, there have been no incidents. The deer today wasn't a scheduled guest, but will probably be our most memorable since the last three seconds of his life were seen on air. 

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