Bambi gone bad: Dead deer stinks up Richmond

Rich­mond Street res­id­ents were left hold­ing their noses last week after a dead deer showed up on In­di­ana Av­en­ue.

Res­id­ents of Rich­mond Street in Port Rich­mond re­turned to an un­pleas­ant home­com­ing after the Fourth of Ju­ly hol­i­day - the body a large white tail deer de­com­pos­ing just off In­di­ana Av­en­ue.

The an­im­al - likely com­ing from that wild part of the neigh­bor­hood east  of In­ter­state 95 - was sprawled on the side­walk of 2800 E. In­di­ana, a dead-end strip that meets the high­way.

And while there are no oc­cu­pied homes along the tiny block, the pu­trid reek was strong enough to pick up from sev­er­al blocks away and caused a stink among neigh­bors and nearby busi­nesses last week.

Res­id­ents who saw the deer said the an­im­al, a rare sight for this part of town, ap­peared to have been struck by a car.

“It was sit­ting there for at least two days,” said Joe Kober, who works at Pen­ners Car­pet Co. across the street and was out­side when a Streets De­part­ment truck took the car­cass away at about 4 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Ju­ly 6. “It stunk so bad, you couldn’t smell it without it mak­ing you sick. I’ve nev­er seen any thing like that around here.”

He and oth­ers were wor­ried that neigh­bor­hood kids would get sick from go­ing near the rot­ting deer, and faul­ted the city with not get­ting rid of it soon­er.

“It was just covered with flies,” said Kober.

One frus­trated tip­ster called the Star to say that the deer was still there three days after he had aler­ted the city’s 311 hot­line to re­port the odor.

Colleen, an em­ploy­ee at the nearby Rich­mond Check Cash­ing, said the car­cass was there on Tues­day morn­ing when they opened after the hol­i­day, and already smelled badly.

They called the city sev­er­al times, and said mu­ni­cip­al trucks came out twice on Wed­nes­day, once pour­ing bleach on the road kill, be­fore fi­nally tak­ing it away.

Mike, an­oth­er em­ploy­ee of the check cash­ing shop, said he thought the deer had turned black from sit­ting so long, but later learned that it was simply covered with flies.

He said he thought the city should have been out soon­er, but shrugged his shoulders: “You know how the city works.”

Bill Duncan, a res­id­ent of Rich­mond Street for 40 years, said he called the 311 hot­line and state Rep. John Taylor’s of­fice be­fore the city came out and cleaned up the mess.

“It stunk bad,” said Duncan. “They should have got­ten rid of it days ago. There were kids look­ing at it, and that’s just sick and sad for them to see. If it would have been there a few more days, it would have been really bad.”

Joseph Zuc­caro, an em­ploy­ee with the city’s San­it­a­tion De­part­ment who works in Dis­trict Five - an area cov­er­ing Le­high Av­en­ue all the way up to Chel­ten­ham Av­en­ue and Broad Street to the river - said the week­end com­bined with the hol­i­day led to a delayed re­sponse.

“If someone calls 311, that gets entered in­to the com­puter. We don’t work week­ends, so that was something we didn’t see un­til we came in on Tues­day,” said Zuc­caro.

Still, he said dead an­im­als are typ­ic­ally a first pri­or­ity for the de­part­ment.

“If some calls in a dead an­im­al, we try to get there right away,” said Zuc­caro.

Even giv­en the large dis­trict, Zuc­caro said a dead deer is very rare oc­cur­rence for his crew.

“We really don’t see many of them. Up in Dis­trict 6, that’s where they get more,” said Zuc­caro, re­fer­ring to the area cov­er­ing Pennypack Park and the Roosevelt Boulevard.

But in his eyes, one dead deer is enough to deal with.

“We just pick it up the best we can,” said Zuc­caro. “If it was a horse, I don’t know what we would do.” 

A rep­res­ent­at­ive from the Streets De­part­ment said res­id­ents could either call 311 or the Streets De­part­ment’s cus­tom­er ser­vice line at 215 686 5560.

You can also re­port a dead an­im­al us­ing the same web­site as is used for re­port­ing potholes - ht­tp://

Just click “Dead An­im­al Re­mov­al” in­stead of “Potholes.”

Re­port­er Bri­an Rademaekers can be reached at 215 354 3039 or 




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