‘Get well soon:’ Roadkill decorated with balloon puzzles Montana troopers

What to do if you’ve been in a car accident

Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.
Up Next
Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

Montana Highway Patrol troopers are puzzled after finding a dead deer on the side of a road with a cheery helium balloon tied to it.

Trooper N. Pelosa shared a photo of the roadkill Tuesday on Twitter, explaining that the bizarrely decorated animal was spotted during a patrol in the morning.

The colorful, star-spangled balloon was tied to the dead animal’s front leg, the photo shows.

“I have no idea what the back story is… it was found like this,” said Pelosa, who took the photo.

Pelosa said the roadkill was found near Elmo, Montana, north of Missoula.

“A good reminder is the balloon and string are plastic, which is non-biodegradable and is littering if you don’t clean it up,” Pelosa wrote on Twitter.

But it’s not the first time drivers have discovered roadkill with balloons wishing the deceased wildlife well: BuzzFeed published a piece in 2012 collecting “Get Well Soon Roadkill” photos from Reddit and Trumblr, and in 2016 the Boulder Daily Camera in Colorado reported that a dead raccoon was discovered with a helium balloon tied to its foot in the city.

“I just saw a guy hop out of a van and run over there and tie the balloon to its leg,” witness Bakari Jiles said of the Boulder raccoon, according to the Daily Camera. “He came back around and took a picture of it, too.”

Another witness described the sight as “a little disturbing,” though others enjoyed the prank — or at least took photos to remember it, the Daily Camera reports.

“It’s sad for the raccoon but it really did brighten my day,” said Hanna Gould, who photographed the unusual spectacle, the newspaper reported.

In the case of the Montana deer, at least one other trooper — this one from Kansas — was not amused.

“That’s weird...kinda creepy,” the Kansas trooper wrote from an agency recruiting account.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.