A deer that wandered into the pet aisle of a Walmart store in central Minnesota was tackled by a shopper on Tuesday (May 16). Tom Grasswick held the animal down until it could be carried outside and set free, authorities said.
The confused white-tailed deer entered the store at around 7.30pm local time in the big-box store in Wadena, 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis, police said, causing commotion as it galloped down the aisles.
Shoppers at the store speculated that the young animal was in search of a snack when it entered the store through the garden centre doors.
The picture of the man pinning down the deer went viral on Facebook.
Grasswick, who happens to live in Deer Creek told WDAY, "I figured I was bigger than the deer, so I'd win that wrestling match." His first instinct was to tackle the animal and to bring it down on a pallet of dog food, he said.
Stephanie Koljonen, a witness said, "We were in the pet food aisle and hear what sounds like a shelf falling onto a woman, because a woman screamed who the deer had run into."
She said that the deer was slipping and sliding on the floor of the store until a man "slid into" the deer and held it. "Tom was just holding her gently but securely so no one including the deer would get injured," she said.
Koljonen posted the photo of the deer whisperer covering the animal's eyes in an effort to keep it from resisting.
Once the animal calmed down enough, the store employees used a dog leash to tie the animal. It was later carried outside and freed, according to the police, who added that neither the deer nor its human rescuers appeared hurt in the commotion.