FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission spokesperson has responded to concerns over a deer that was euthanized in Palm Coast, following a report of an attack.
FWC officers and Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the area of Cool Water Court. According to sheriff’s office dispatch notes, a man was working in his garden when he was attacked by the animal. When officers arrived on the scene, they subdued the animal with a trapper pole.
Soon after, the pair can be seen on body camera footage tying the animal to a nearby telephone pole. One of the officials on the scene cut the animal’s throat. After several minutes of struggle, another officer shot the animal, killing it.The body camera footage showing the entire, nearly minute encounter is graphic, and it sparked a negative response from some in the area 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.”
In response to FOX 35’s questions, 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 went on to discourage people from feeding wild animals, as they explained this behavior could cause them to become too comfortable with human interaction. That level of comfort could lead to aggression.
Guyton said the deer was well-known in the neighborhood. He said neighbors called it Baboo and 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 suffered injuries to his hands and legs. He told FOX 35 News he is recovering well.