News from the DNR Office of Communications

Natural Resources Police (NRP) Superintendent Col. George Johnson has issued the following statement regarding the December 16 stranded deer incident in Baltimore County:

I have reviewed the reports of last Thursday’s incident in which two apparently well-meaning citizens rescued a deer from the frozen waters of the Patapsco. Unfortunately, the citizens involved disregarded the orders of numerous public safety officers on the scene -– including Baltimore County Police and Fire Officers as well as the NRP -– by entering the icy waters on an inflatable raft and remaining in the water after being ordered back to shore.

Contrary to widespread reports, the raft was not equipped with the legally required safety equipment. Given the conditions of the water, what began with an animal in distress could have quickly led to a human tragedy, requiring an emergency response that could have endangered even more lives.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police are charged with protecting public safety as well as enforcing the laws of the State of Maryland. I have full confidence that the officer on the scene performed his duties as required by law. We are all very grateful that there was ultimately a safe outcome – for the citizens and the deer.

   December 20, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at