A beach full of people at Saugatuck Dunes State Park in Michigan got an unlikely surprise over 4th of July weekend when a deer decided to join in the fun.
According to witnesses, the brazen deer just casually sauntered over a sand dune and down to the water's edge to take a dip in Lake Michigan on a hot summer's day like everybody else on the beach.
Deer are often adventurous when it comes to wandering into areas populated by people, but this deer took it to the next level.
Stunned families soon pulled out their phones to capture photos and videos of their new beach buddy as he went about his business.
Deer enjoys a day at the beach on Lake Michigan www.youtube.com
And just to show the ultimate chill, the deer even went over to a young girl sitting in a beach chair nearby and started licking her leg, much to her surprise and delight.
The young buck even let people close enough to pet it and play with it (although neither is recommended).
Metro Detroit family joined by friendly deer while vacationing in Saugatuck over the holiday weekend. https://t.co/DhDDClbwkR— WXYZ Detroit (@WXYZ Detroit)1562630265.0
Only in Michigan! 🦌🏖 Detroit mom Kathleen Kennedy Ferris captured this video of her kids playing with a deer on a… https://t.co/jZhu41TXyL— Detroit Free Press (@Detroit Free Press)1562674085.0
The deer reportedly stuck around the beach for roughly 30 minutes before calling it a day.
But he certainly made an impression on social media.
@6abc That is So AWESOME 🤗 WOW— Mrs. James (@Mrs. James)1562679554.0
@6abc Ha! This so cool— Chef Val (@Chef Val)1562642371.0
@MLive Deer wants to know why y'all at his beach? Also... where are the snacks?— sekhmara (@sekhmara)1562596632.0
The deer apparently has become a regular, with the locals naming him "Jim."
@Cardina1_Girl @Robb_R9 @MLive Apparently he’s been coming down regularly and he has been named “Jim.”— Oceana Lizard (@Oceana Lizard)1562633726.0
@MLive Quick! Someone get my man a bud light! 🍺 #DeersGetThirstyToo— Mark E King (@Mark E King)1562619646.0
@SHSTrackandXC @freep Yeah that is Jimmy!— SaugatuckTrack&Field (@SaugatuckTrack&Field)1562690295.0
@freep He’s a regular in the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and @feltmansion area over here...he’s hangin’ here with th… https://t.co/zTdwrNGRrW— Cory LaLonde (@Cory LaLonde)1562695966.0
Of course there were also those who were skeptical of Jimmy's health, with many wondering if the deer is suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a disease similar to Mad Cow Disease that affects the brains of deer and elk.
@MLive Any deer acting this irrationally and as thin as that, I would suspect CWD.— jwrwork (@jwrwork)1562617982.0
@MLive Sadly, the first thing that came to mind was the animal is suffering from CWD. Some symptoms include lack of… https://t.co/vBTo0uvj5g— Dennis (@Dennis)1562675421.0
The Michigan DNR said they would be keeping tabs on the deer for the time being, and issued a warning to the public, saying:
"At this time, we plan to monitor the situation with the deer. Should it begin to exhibit aggressive behavior, we would consider immobilizing and relocating the deer. We ask that park visitors refrain from feeding or approaching the deer as this is a wild animal that could act unpredictably."
Deer can carry ticks with illnesses like Lyme disease that pose a serious threat to humans, so if you encounter a deer in the wild it's probably best to just let it do its thing.
With his complete lack of fear of humans, it's unclear what Jimmy's future will entail, but he certainly gave the internet something to smile about.