Pat Taylor, an equipment specialist at Hannibal Regional Hospital, was performing some regular maintenance work in the medical building around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday when he heard something totally unexpected - a loud crash.
“It sounded like the world was coming apart,” said Taylor.
Taylor immediately went to investigate. Opening a door leading into the building’s ground floor corridor, Taylor found himself staring into the eyes of a six-point buck, which had crashed through a window on the north ground floor hallway and was now looking for an exit point. When the brief stare down ended, the deer bolted in the direction of the emergency room, but the access doors leading from the medical building to the ER were locked.
As the deer attempted to gain traction on the vinyl floor, Taylor got on his radio.
“I call security and asked them to call animal control,” he said.
But the deer wasn’t in a mood to wait. According to Taylor, the deer skidded back down the hall, and after finally finding a spot on the floor where it had better footing, it threw its head back and its chest out, and crashed through another window.
In addition to the police, hospital security also contacted Keith Mosley, plant operations director, who admitted his initial reaction was one of “disbelief.”
“It’s not uncommon to see them in the big fields to the west and south of the hospital. I see a lot of them when I drive past the airport,” he said. “Somebody probably ran this one out of the woods and then it saw its reflection. And when they’re in rut and they see another deer...”
Mike Flaspohler, wildlife management biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, says what happened at the hospital experienced is not all that uncommon.
“We had one maybe two weeks ago that went through the window in our central office in Jeff City, so it’s not unheard of for sure,” he said. “At this time of year you would think maybe that’s related to their behavior of wanting to fight with other bucks in their territory. They’re also looking for does and getting places where they may not normally be present because they’re chasing other deer.”
Operations in the medical building did not miss a beat, according to Mosley, who was on the phone to American Glass by 7 a.m. Repairs to both windows had been completed by 9:30 a.m.
“They’re good guys. They were right on it,” said Mosley of American Glass.