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Cement deer poached from popular Hwy. 17 rest stop


Municipal officials and provincial police are baffled by the theft of some unique deer in the northern Ontario community of Elliot Lake.

An undated photo of one of the deer sculptures that were once displayed at the Trailhead Pavilion near Elliot Lake, Ont. (Supplied/Explore Elliot Lake)

Three cement deer sculptures seem to have been poached this week from the Trailhead Pavilion at the Highway 108 turnoff on Highway 17 sometime between Sunday and Monday evening.

This is just the most recent heist from the pavilion site as a statue of a doe and fawn was also reported missing in late April while the vehicle stop was closed for the winter.

A popular rest stop for Highway 17 travellers, the pavilion marks the start of the 120-kilometre Deer Trail Driving Tour for tourists and the deer outside the information centre has been well-known landmark for many years.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed with CTV News that they have opened a criminal investigation into the incidents.

The thieves would have had to cut the metal sculptures from the poured concrete pads to which they were attached.

A concrete pad at Trailhead Pavilion near Elliot Lake, Ont., where a deer sculpture has been stolen. (Photo courtesy of Charlene Puzak)

However, unfortunately, both statues that have been popular props for ‘selfies’ for more than a generation are now gone.

The City of Elliot Lake had been maintaining the sculptures, trail and pavilion.

School trustee Marie Murphy-Foran was part of the team that helped get them installed and previously worked with the trail, she told CTV News that she is disappointed by the incidents.

"There's all kinds of people in the world and all kinds of people that figure that they are entitled to take things that don't belong to them,” she said.

“We have truckers that have stopped there to take pictures, you know they are new to Canada and they are trucking across, they have taken pictures with the deer.”

Murphy-Foran said many people relied on those figures for directions and tourism.

“I am so disappointed,” she said.

“Whoever took them you know, please bring them back."

An undated image of one of the deer sculptures that were once displayed at the Trailhead Pavilion near Elliot Lake, Ont. (City of Elliot Lake/Promotional Video)

Elliot Lake city staff said the previous theft was chalked up to a random act at the time and it is unknown whether the same culprits are behind this week's theft.

The city would like to get the deer back and is asking anyone who witnessed the theft or has seen the deer since to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously. Top Stories

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