Endangered Key deer is euthanized after being found tied up in car

Endangered Key deer is euthanized after being found tied up in car”

An endangered Key deer found tied up in the back of a vehicle last weekend has been euthanized.

"Erik lured the Key deer close with pieces of bread, grabbed them, bound their feet with ropes and put them in his auto", a Monroe County Sheriff's report said. The buck that was euthanized Thursday was the deer in the trunk.

Authorities said the three endangered deer, two doe and a buck, were hog-tied and had injuries consistent with struggling in a confined space.

The Sun-Sentinel identified the men as 18-year-old Erik Yosmany Damas Acosta of Miami Gardens; and 23-year-old Tumani Anthony Younge, who has ties to Port St. Lucie.

In order to prevent further stress to the deer, all three were released back into the wild.

National Key Deer Refuge Manager Dan Clark says the deer, which grow to the size of a large dog, had been captured on Big Pine Key.

The two could also face federal charges as Key Deer, which number between 600 and 800 and live in the Lower Keys, are federally protected. According to the arrest reports, the men told investigators they wanted to take pictures with the deer.

The two men in the vehicle, Erik Damas and Tumani Younge, are accused of capturing the deer each face three felony and nine misdemeanor charges.

Damas Acosta went on to say that he didn't know the deer were endangered.

The state felonies are punishable by up to up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

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