If this deer wasn’t found, it could have lead to some big problems.
A rather strange picture was making the rounds on social media. A resident captured the image of a real Arizona fallow deer. There was one problem with, though—fallow deer don’t live in Arizona. Most officials in the state think it likely escaped from a nearby game farm or was pen-raised in a nearby city. However, if not captured, it could have carried diseases that could spread to other deer in the area.
An Arizona Game and Fish Department Tucson Facebook post drove home how serious this issue could be.
Fallow deer are native to western Eurasia, but this deer was spotted in Game Management Unit 34A last week. Likely released or escaped from Nogales, this exotic deer may spread disease to our native deer populations. AZGFD Tucson is seeking information on the whereabouts of this deer. If you see it, please call 520-388-4441 ASAP.
Game farms will face their share of scrutiny all over the U.S. if this deer did in fact escape. And, if it was a pet, it’s still just as likely it was carrying a disease.
According to an update released 24 hours after the picture started the making the rounds, the fallow deer was found dead. Officials presume coyotes got to it first. Specialists are now testing the remains for CWD.