Deer cross Golden Gate Bridge into Marin

Two deer briefly stopped northbound traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge Friday night as they made a run for the hills of Marin County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The deer, reported at 5:24 p.m., appear to have entered the bridge from the San Francisco side, according to CHP Officer Andrew Barclay.

They quickly brought the three northbound lanes traffic to a halt behind them as they ran from San Francisco toward Marin. CHP officers were caught in the resulting traffic backup and by the time they reached the scene, the deer were gone, Barclay said.

However, several videos and photos taken by people on the bridge have surfaced. Drivers appear to have slowed behind the animals, leaving the lanes clear in front of them.

Noting that northbound traffic tends to be backed up and slower around 5:30 p.m. anyway, Barclay said:

“They pretty much created their own traffic break. … That could be what saved the deer from getting hurt. … If it was lighter traffic the cars would have been moving faster.”

Barclay said it is not the first time animals have been reported on the bridge, but it is the first time it has happened in the two years he has served as a public information officer.