I don't mean to trivialize this man's death. But the saying "everything is big for people with small lives" comes to mind right about now. Here's some context: Fairbanks Ranch is part of Rancho Santa Fe, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in San Diego (and the nation).
Deer shot; neighbors return to routines
Fairbanks Ranch neighbors peeked out windows before venturing into their yards yesterday morning. A sense of fear has pervaded this gated community since a buck gored a man three weeks ago. He died Monday.
But the neighbors needn't have worried. The night before, federal trackers had shot and killed the buck believed to have attacked 73-year-old Ron Dudek. To make sure, they also killed one that looked similar.
Steve Martarano, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game, said his agency had no choice but to destroy the bucks.
"We don't relocate wild animals that are considered a problem," Martarano said. "Even after the incident, this buck continued to just hang around. It was getting bolder.
"This is a great example of the problems people can cause when they think they can get too close to wildlife." While neighbors had hoped the problem buck would be relocated to a wild area rather than be killed, they were pleased yesterday afternoon when they learned they could enter their yards without trepidation.
"I will be glad if I don't see that big one anymore," said Ann Winters, who lives across Avenida Cuatro Vientos from where the deer attacked Dudek on Sept. 25.
Dudek, who owned Saturn Electric Inc. in San Diego, had gone into his back yard to pick tomatoes when he passed a 6-foot-tall buck with three-point antlers, according to his family. The buck, which was up against the house, gored him in the face, breaking five teeth and ramming an antler down his throat.
Tom Dudek, one of their four sons, said he was worried that the deer might attack his mother, too. At that point, no one knew the bucks had been killed.
"I'm concerned about her being in the yard," he said. "If they don't get it – I will. Plenty of people have offered me a rifle."