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Florida Authorities Euthanize Pet Deer After It Attacks and Injures Man

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Florida Authorities Euthanize Pet Deer After It Attacks and Injures Man

Posted 2023-10-23  by  Stephanie Mallory

Some neighbors are upset over the methods used to kill the young buck

Florida officials euthanized a pet deer after it attacked a man in a Palm Coast, Florida, neighborhood.

According to FOX 35, Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) officers and Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the scene after receiving calls that the young buck attacked a man who was working in his garden.

The officers subdued the deer with a trapper pole. Body camera footage then shows officers tying the animal to a telephone pole. One of the officials then cuts the deer’s throat. After it struggled for several minutes, another officer shot and killed it. The graphic body camera footage sparked a negative response from those who believe it could've been handled more humanely.

"That is a very violent way to end something’s life," neighbor Guyton Monday said. "Very violent. You can tie the deer up, hogtie the deer up, [tranquilize] the deer."

An FWC spokesperson released a statement saying the method was calculated. The statement reads, in part:

"Deer are generally fearful of people and avoid contact. However, deer that come to expect food from people in suburban or urban areas may lose their natural fear of people and may display aggressive behavior. This deer exhibited abnormal and aggressive behavior, making it a public safety concern, which therefore required testing for diseases including rabies and CWD.

“Testing requires the brain of the deer to remain intact, therefore, a decision was made by the officers to utilize a two-step process to put the deer down. Public safety and humane treatment are factors that played into the decision to sever an artery in the neck of the deer, followed by a gunshot to the chest once the animal was lying down in a position where it became safe for the officer to discharge a firearm in the community."

The statement discouraged people from feeding wild animals as it could cause them to become too comfortable with humans, which could lead to aggression.

Guyton said the deer, which neighbors called Baboo, was well-known in the neighborhood. He said it was rescued 18 months ago after its mother died giving birth.

"Although it’s a wild animal, he was around people so much, very docile," Guyton said. "He’d come up to you. He’d nudge up against you. It was very cool."

The man who was attacked told FOX 35 he suffered injuries to his hands and legs but is recovering well.

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