The deer that jumped through a window of a Pizza Hut restaurant has died, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials.
Fortunately, no customers or employees were hurt.
DNR wildlife technicians say that animals like deer are becoming more acclimated to people, and are showing up in more populated areas than ever before.
There were about five customers and several employees inside the East Albany Pizza Hut around 7:25 Monday night, when a young doe crashed through a window and started running around inside.
"There was one lady sitting pretty close to the window that I'm sure was startled and frightened by the deer coming in through the glass," said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Technician Brian Vickery.
The 1 & 1/2 year old doe, weighing about 125 pounds, was seriously cut by the glass. DNR officials used a tranquilizer gun to stun the deer and remove it from the restaurant, but it later died from its injuries as they took it for medical treatment.
Most people were stunned that a deer would be in such a highly populated area of the city, but DNR officials say they are seeing them more across the state.
"Lots of times in these metro areas we will find them to where they will stand in the yard and you can walk to within 25 feet of them," said Vickery. "They are all just adapted to being around people."
Wildlife technicians say deer are now moving into suburban areas, in small wooded areas, where there are no hunters or predators. Vickery says it's just speculation what spooked the deer Monday night.
"It was traumatic being in town and all the lights and it raining and everything. I'm sure it was trying to get out and find cover," said Vickery. "And I guess the Pizza Hut restaurant appeared to be cover."
He says the deer may have seen it's own reflection in the window, and charged it. DNR officials say with deer becoming more adapted to people, we may be seeing more shocking encounters with wildlife like this in the future.
DNR wildlife techs say encounters with foxes, raccoons, and wild hogs are also becoming more frequent across the state.
The Pizza Hut repaired the damaged window and cleaned up overnight. They were back open for business as usual Tuesday.