Officials look into Key deer killings

Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 7:17 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 7:17 a.m.

KEY WEST, Fla. - Wildlife officials are investigating the killings of several endangered Key deer, the tiny deer that live exclusively in the Florida Keys.

In one incident last month, a Big Pine Key resident found three severed Key deer heads on federal property.

In a second incident, a deer was found alive but with a 3-foot-long spear in its neck. The deer had to be euthanized last week. Investigators do not think the incidents are related.

A count conducted in 2001 found approximately 700 of the deer. Killing Key deer is a crime under the Endangered Species Act and punishable by fines or jail time or both.

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