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Once upon a time, there was a great animal who roamed the streets of Vancouver. We’d like to call him Great Prince of the Forest, but residents in the city preferred “downtown deer.”

Legend has it that the deer made Stanley Park its home after being separated from its family (for the sake of convenience, we’ll assume his mother was killed by a hunter). Lonely and hungry, the young animal was now forced to fend for itself.

But rather than bonding with the local animals…

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…This one bonded with people.

 

Hey #downtowndeer I found you! #Vancouver #bc #stanleypark

A photo posted by @xtortz on

  It didn’t take long for downtown deer to be loved and admired by all. 

He would join people on their morning jogs:

 

And frolic in the park with visitors:

 

It was even there to help flip a car during the Stanley Cup riots:

 

The animal became the subject of all kinds of tourist videos and social media conversation. He was even able to learn how to adapt to Canada’s frigid winters all on his own.

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Soon, the deer had so many friends it had to start up its own Twitter account!

 

Before long, he became just a regular guy:

 

It all seemed so perfect. Until last weekend, when tragedy struck.

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It is believed downtown deer was fatally struck by a car, a blow felt by the entire city of Vancouver.

RIP little guy:

The outpouring of grief from the community was immediate and intense.

Some compared the animal to Biblical figures:

 

Others were more interested in the wherabouts of its succulent corpse:

But it wasn’t just people who mourned the loss of this incredible creature, the entire animal kingdom came together to bid it farewell. giphy

Just days after the story broke, a grey whale was seen near Stanley Park, apparently attempting to pay its respects.

 


We can only imagine what other tributes we didn’t see.

Now, at long last, this deer can take its rightful place among the ranks of Cecil the Lion and #DeadRaccoonTO.

May you all live on as heroes in the afterlife.