Men arrested in Florida for stealing endangered deer, keeping them in vehicle

Photo courtesy Florida Wildlife Commission

LITTLE TORCH KEY, Fla. (AP) – 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 of the Hyundai Sonata. The animals were untied and released.

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 each face three felony and nine misdemeanor charges. Jail records didn’t list attorneys.

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