Speed Reads

a roller coaster of emotions

New York City wants to kill a deer. New York state wants to save the deer. This is their story.

This is Lefty:

A photo posted by Jeanette Rosario (@jeanette_dilone) on Dec 8, 2016 at 9:19am PST

Lefty is a one-antlered white-tailed deer that got stuck in the Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem after swimming across the East River two weeks ago in search of a mate. Alas, "brother, there ain't no love in Harlem for this deer," said Charles Coleman, 57, who lives near the park where Lefty took up residence. "He ain't going to find any hanky-panky here. He went looking for love in all the wrong places."

So on Thursday, the city of New York captured Lefty with plans to put him down, Harlem Patch reports. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, upon hearing about Lefty's fate, stepped in: "The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation advised the City of New York that there are alternatives to euthanasia that they can consider, including relocation," a statement from the governor's office read.

With that, Lefty was elevated from mere local celebrity to a pawn in the great proxy wars between Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Mr. Cuomo has a history of meddling in the city's affairs and has often sought to outmaneuver Mr. de Blasio on his home turf, much to the mayor's consternation," The New York Times explains. So naturally, the city promptly fired back: "Moving the deer to a new place would likely have caused the animal a great deal of suffering and would have been inhumane on many levels," a spokesperson for the city said. "Relocated deer have very low long-term survival rates."

Cuomo stepped in again Thursday night, saying the state government would personally transport the deer out of the city. The city refused the assistance before midnight and reiterated that Lefty would go the way of Bambi's mother.

A mournful hush fell after that. Then, just after noon Friday, the New York City Mayor's Office press secretary, Eric Phillips, tweeted that Lefty would be saved after all:

Of course, there is still time if anyone else wants to throw their opinion into the ring. Jeva Lange

A very sad update, 2:10 p.m.: