FLORIDA -- Deputies in the Florida Keys made an unusual discovery during a traffic stop Sunday morning.
They found two endangered Key deer bound with twine in the back seat of the car and another deer in the trunk.
The deer were untied, evaluated and released into the wild to prevent further stress.
According to the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, two ran directly into the woods. A buck is still in the area and being monitored.
The men in the car were arrested and taken to jail. They face multiple charges including felonies and misdemeanors for injuring an endangered species and animal cruelty.
For some reason, Fish & Game and wildlife divisions don't typically release the name of the people charged. If the media picks up the story, they're usually named because the reporters does a FOIA for the mugshot, but I skip a lot of stories involving wildlife crimes including poaching, etc. because the division does a press release but won't say the person or release their mugshot.
We are sad to report that the injured buck was euthanized this morning.
Although he received daily veterinary care since the incident that included pain medication, fluids, and treatment for a broken rear ankle, he never recovered from the initial stress and "capture myopathy" of being taken by the two suspects arrested on Sunday.
As a result, he never regained the ability to stand up, and his organs were failing. In light of this, with veterinary guidance, we made the decision to end his suffering. The wildlife veterinarian that was assisting us euthanized him peacefully this morning.
His body is being preserved and handed over to the appropriate authorities as part of the ongoing criminal investigation. USFWS continues to coordinate with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on this investigation.
(WFLA - July 3, 2017)