A young rusa stag was killed by a BMW on Old South Head road, only a few hundred meters from the bustling hub of Bondi Junction, at 6:50pm on Friday.
Christopher Zinn was cycling home when he encountered the unusual scene, posting a photograph on Twitter just moments after the accident.
“I saw a car stop, I saw a hairy thing in the road and thought it was an Irish wolfhound,” Mr Zinn said.
“Then I got closer and saw these great big long legs and thought, ‘No, it’s a kangaroo.’ And then I saw it was a deer. It wasn’t visibly injured and it wasn’t visibly in pain, it was just in deep shock and then it expired.”
The deer had earlier been sighted on busy Bondi Road, he said. “The question is, where did it come from?”Mr Zinn said the BMW driver “was a little shocked and upset, but … there was obviously nothing he could do.
Rusa deer are known to wonder good distances from the Royal National Parks and surrounds into the southern suburbs of Sydney but Woollahara is a stretch just 5kms east of the CBD.
On Friday night a police wagon delivered the dead deer to the Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital, where vet Ray Chan was on duty. The carcass is being stored in a freezer.
Like everyone else, Dr Chan speculated about the deer’s origins. He wondered whether someone had picked up a fawn in the country “and it found its way into one of the parks and stayed hidden and grew up.”
He said it would be “pretty spectacular” if a deer had made its way from bushland “deep into the Junction, without being seen or hit by a car on the way here. Who knows where this poor deer came from?”
Inspector Sam Fordy, of the Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command, said police were continuing their investigations into the collision, with further inquiries as to how the deer came to be in the area.
“It is different to have a deer in the CBD of Bondi,” she said. “I would think that if the deer had been in Centennial Park, the rangers would know about it.
Mr Zinn wondered whether the deer had been destined for someone’s dinner. “Maybe someone had got it for some slaughter purposes or a weekend barbecue,” he said. “That’s no more unusual than any other theory. If you live in Bondi long enough, you know that anything can happen in Bondi.”
A local firefighter joked that it escaped from department store Myer’s Christmas display.