Deer jumps into Berkeley pool, disrupts kids’ swim class

A lifeguard who leapt into the pool to deal with the animal said the incident surprised the kids, but that nobody was hurt.

Deer in King Middle School. Photo: Jeff Johnston
Adonis Boyd and Jasper Solomon guide a small deer out of the King Middle School pool on Thursday Aug. 11. Photo: Jeff Johnston

A deer leapt into the King Middle School swimming pool Thursday morning, narrowly avoiding landing on young children taking a swimming lesson there, according to a pool staffer.

The deer ran across the pool deck and jumped into the deep end, said Jasper Solomon, a lifeguard at the pool, who said the children, around 3-6 years old, were attending a summer camp swim class. Solomon and his boss, Adonis Boyd, both leapt into action as soon as the fawn landed, he said. They asked everyone to leave the pool and then, using a lifejacket and a floater as buffers, they steered the animal to the shallow end. The fawn then scrambled out of the water and ran away.

Solomon said the incident surprised the kids, but that fortunately nobody was hurt. He described the deer as small and male, probably a fawn.

“The kids got a kick out of all the excitement!” Jeff Johnston, whose son was part of the swim class, wrote us. 

“Luckily, no children were hurt! It seems like it was pretty exciting!” said Teresa Price who tipped Berkeleyside about the incident.

Animal Control was called but the fawn had scampered off before they arrived, said Solomon.

A pool staffer had spotted the deer earlier near some trash cans, Solomon said. He said employees think the animal must have “hopped a fence” to get onto the pool deck.

The King pool is on the middle school grounds at Hopkins Street and Carlotta Avenue.

After the drama — which several people snapped photos of — the children went back to their class, Solomon said.

Read more about animals in Berkeley in past coverage.

See new calf at Little Farm in 360-degree video (07.07.16)
How I became a docent for burrowing owls. What a hoot! (05.02.16)
Gypsie the dog (and its owner) rescue bird on the bay (04.07.16)
10 Berkeley animal stories you didn’t want to miss in 2015 (12.31.15)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: