OUTER BANKS, N.C. (Mark Price/Charlotte Observer) - Outer Banks boaters crossing North Carolina’s infamously dangerous Oregon Inlet say they came upon something completely unexpected in the choppy water: a deer swimming between the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean.
What was it doing there? The dog paddle, apparently.
Proof was posted Friday, June 7, on Facebook: a photo showing the deer neck deep, with the old and new inlet inlet bridges far off in the background. The post didn’t say when the photo was taken.
“Not something you see everyday, a deer crossing the Oregon Inlet,” said Ryan Rhodes, who posted the photo.
“...This exhausted deer made it to land. Talk about determination or was it disorientation??? It’s not uncommon to find deer swimming, but to cross our inlet with current that can kill and has, is a feat most would opt to avoid.”
The photo, taken by Alyssa Johnson of Wanchese, N.C., has gotten hundreds of reactions and shares on Facebook with several people admitting they’ve also seen deer swimming off fishing piers at the coast.
At least one person reported a pig was also picked up in the inlet.
“Wow I’m surprised a shark didn’t get it,” wrote Dawn Midgette of Southern Shores, N.C., on Facebook.
“You won’t find them in the woods, they’re in the ocean,” joked Jodie O’Sullivan.
There have also been reports of rattlesnakes seen swimming at the Outer Banks, including a video recorded in 2017 at Ocracoke.
Deer are “quite strong swimmers,” known to paddle a mile or more if needs require, including fleeing a predator, reports Outdoorlife.com. “A deer can swim at up to 13 miles per hour,” according to BigGameLogic.com.