Stag-on-the-loose: Police spend two hours deer-stalking in Stoke overnight
Kevin Wilkes thought his eyes must be deceiving him when he drove past what appeared to be a stuffed animal on the streets of Stoke last night.
Instead it was a very live stag that had come down off the Nelson hills and caused a two-hour long hunt through suburban streets.
Wilkes, who runs a dial-a-driver service, was dropping one of his employees at home when he noticed police activity at about 2am.
"I thought there must have been a man hunt going on," he said.
The Tasman District Command Centre confirmed they'd received a call just after midnight and about six or seven officers had responded.
The deer was first spotted on Arapiki Rd, before it ran onto Main Road Stoke and then onto Nayland Road.
Two hours later it was still on the loose on Songer St before police managed to chase it back up into the hills.
Wilkes said he wrote a Facebook post detailing the curious ordeal.
"My niece thought it must've been an April Fools' joke but I had to tell her it was very real."