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Elderly Woman Attacked by Deer at Sanctuary, Has Eye Gouged Out

A truly unfortunate incident occurred this past Friday morning in Spring Hill, Florida when a 75-year-old woman named Sylvia Fernandez was attacked by a deer and hospitalized with a punctured eye.

It’s been a wild couple of weeks at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Spring Hill, Florida. Just over a week ago a lion escaped from its enclosure by digging under the fence, and now a deer that the owner had previously been warned about has attacked her elderly sister.

Vernon Yates, a wildlife expert, was one of the many people the deer came in contact with prior to the accident. Yates feels partially responsible, saying,

“Now, we have a woman missing her eye and I don’t know, somehow I still have feelings somewhere inside of me that I am responsible for it… I just looked at it and said, it’s Russian Roulette here. You just know it’s a matter of time before someone is going to get hurt by the deer, and they’re not doing any precautions to stop it.”

Yates was the individual who offered to remove the antlers from the deer, but despite his efforts and attempts to help sanctuary owner Judy Watson refused. As any hunter knows, deer are still being affected by the rut and can be aggressive, especially in Southern states. Yates made sure to point this out to Watson, still to no avail.

According to WTSP Channel 10 News, Tampa, Yates will be taking possession of the deer at 1:00p.m. Monday, and will likely turn it over to a zoo. The animal sanctuary where the incident occurred is under investigation, and the owner has already received a misdemeanor for the lion escape.

Have you ever had an encounter with a deer that left a mark? What do you think the future of this animal sanctuary should be? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Elderly Woman Attacked by Deer at Sanctuary, Has Eye Gouged Out