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Video of 3 deer leaping to their deaths off an Iowa highway bridge goes viral

Screengrab of Facebook video shot by Catherine Verhusen.

CEDAR RAPIDS — An Iowa woman’s video of a four deer leaping to their deaths from a highway bridge has gone viral on Facebook.

Catherine Veerhusen and her husband were driving on the 80th Street SW Bridge over U.S. Highway 30 in Cedar Rapids Sunday when the spotted a herd of deer on the road in front of them, according to an account in the Des Moines Register.

As the couple looked on, a buck sprinted across the bridge and vaulted over the sidewall, plunging an estimated 20 to 30 feet to the ground below. Three does immediately followed.

All four deer were killed.

Veerhusen told the Register she was horrified.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “No words, no words.”

According to the Register, conservation officer Ron Lane theorized that the deer were panicked and not familiar with the area.

“The bridge there is brand new,” Lane told the Register. “I’m guessing the deer aren’t used to that, with all of the construction going on.”

The bridge the deer jumped from is part of a new construction project and only opened in October, according to media accounts.

“It sounds like with they were just trying to run across and didn’t know where to go,” Lane said.

Veerhusen posted video of the encounter to her Facebook page. The two-second clip of the deer leaping over the side has been viewed more than 24 million times, and Verhusen’s post, which also includes photos (some graphic) has been shared more than 300,000 times.

“It has just taken off like crazy,” Veerhusen said.