Authorities say two Florida men were caught with three endangered Key deer tied up in their car.
The Miami Herald reports that 18-year-old Erik Acosta Damas and 23-year-old Tumani Anthony Younge were arrested early Sunday morning. Wildlife officials say a Monroe County deputy pulled over the men's car on Little Torch Key for having a tail light out. The deputy found two doe in the back seat and a buck in the trunk. The animals were untied and released.
Deputies say Damas Acosta’s excuse for taking the deer was he wanted to take pictures with the animals.
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 federally protected deer are found only in the Florida Keys, where their population is around 600-800.
Damas and Younge are with three felony counts of wounding a protected species, three misdemeanor counts of taking deer out of season, three counts of animal cruelty and three counts of illegal possession of Key deer. They each face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Jail records didn't list attorneys.
Information from: The Miami Herald, www.herald.com