Deer in the Florida Keys were exposed to Hurricane Irma. Here’s some more insight.
Before the storm hit, the Key deer were assigned to a refuge. The species was not known to me 100% safe from the storm.
Dan Clark the superintendent of the National Key Deer Refuge stated, “Once we receive information from Monroe County that it is safe to return the deer and we can inhabit the Lower Keys, a post-storm assessment of our facilities and residences will be conducted to determine if we can operate.”
Several Key deer were seen running through the streets in the aftermath, proving that some did indeed survive.
— ｄａｖｉｄ ｓｕｔｔａ (@SuttaCBSMiami) September 11, 2017
A full assessment might be tough to come by, as recovery efforts continue in Florida.
Key deer are federally protected animals due to their small numbers. They are much smaller deer physically, too.
Their estimated numbers range from 800 to 1,000, and they live mostly on the Lower Keys islands of Big Pine and Little Torch Key.
Recently, Key deer have had some complications. Beginning in 2016, the larvae of a parasitic fly gave the deer a nasty infection. The already small population of deer began to thin out. The infection killed the deer gradually and painfully.
Also, these deer are treasured animals among poachers. Many federal poaching charges have been filed over the years.
The fate of the Key deer after Irma remains to be fully seen, but here’s hoping most of them made it through this latest ordeal.
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