2013-07-25 / Front Page

Mystery deer is done

Erik Skindrud / GAZETTE EDITOR

A European deer that sparked widespread curiosity off Highway 49 North in recent weeks was apparently euthanized by California Fish and Wildlife on July 22.

"It didn't seem fair," deer watcher Reghina Crump said. "It seems like somebody out there could have taken him. It's just so sad."

On Monday, Mariposa County Game Warden Frank Milazzo arrived at a Mt. Bullion address owned by David Radanovich--Crump's uncle.

With the driveway gate open, Milazzo drove up to Crump's home and told her he was there to shoot the deer, she told the GAZETTE.

"I was freaking out," Crump said. "We had named him Powder."

The deer, known as a European fallow deer, showed up looking young and malnourished in May. Crump and family members restored the deer's strength by letting it snack on grapes and fruit trees.

Milazzo did not immediately return a call from the GAZETTE seeking comment on the incident.

Nicole Fleming, a Mariposa County volunteer with Fresno Wildlife Rescue, said state Fish and Wildlife workers act to protect local deer herds. Exotic species like the European deer can carry lice that weaken the county's deer, she explained.

"He did what he had to do," Fleming said.

Read the Aug. 1 issue of the MARIPOSA GAZETTE for more on the passing of Powder, the mystery European fallow deer.

A small group of Mt. Bullion caregivers named this juvenile deer Powder when it showed up in May. Photo: Reghina CrumpA small group of Mt. Bullion caregivers named this juvenile deer Powder when it showed up in May. Photo: Reghina Crump

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I don't agree with it either

I don't agree with it either and I don't buy the lice argument as most do not. The deer could have been saved. But it's done and lets move on, maybe we can all learn something from this incident. My biggest concern is the welfare of children in this county, animals would have to take second.

It should be illegal to shoot

It should be illegal to shoot wildlife when they are not physically harming people. We are in their home not vice versa. Some "Game Wardens" should find other professions.

The killing of this deer is

The killing of this deer is ridiculous. This deer was introduced to the US years ago. The lame excuse of lice is just BS and the Fish & Game should have done their homework, and worked on saving this animal. I've been sickened by this since it happened. If you call F&G to help with Coyote's that are killing household animals they wont do anything, but to share the beauty of this somewhat rare animal they kill it. How does this make sense?

Fallow deer were first

Fallow deer were first introduced in North America on George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon, Virginia. They have since been introduced in many other places in the United States and in British Columbia, Canada, and are more widely distributed than any other alien hoofed mammal in North America. They have also been introduced in other parts of the world, so that they now are found in the wild in 38 countries on six continents. "Apart from rats, mice and feral domestic animals, fallow deer are the world's most widely naturalized animal." (Lever, 1985) I fail to see the big threat this animal posed.

People! One loses

People! One loses perspective when no comments are offered on a child molester, murderer, arsonist, etc. and yet a deer is put down and the commentary gets plentiful and personal.

Is some wildlife sanctuary,

Is some wildlife sanctuary, zoo or other recognized facility missing a deloused fallow deer? A sedated then quarantined deer could have been professionally evaluated and investigated. Too late now. Is shoot then evaluate really a good CF&W policy??? Was the carcass evaluated postmortem?? What results?? Please complete the story.

REALLY? Why couldn't the deer

REALLY? Why couldn't the deer be sent to a rescue or wildlife sanctuary? Was it 'easier' to shoot than capture the half-tame animal? Let's just do the easy way with everything these days...seems like people have no time to think things through and figure out sane and humane ways of treating both humans and animals anymore. This is and should be an outrage to people here. I believe that a survey should be conducted here in the paper to address this and see what the community would have wanted done with this matter. Why do we allow those people we "elect" and pay to make decisions based on what voters want...make decisions based on what politicians want??? When will blatant acts of "we'll do what we want, when we want and based on who we are," cease? Only when people in the community take a stand and demand that these people act in ways in which they were elected to do so. -AnonymousStormbringer.

MAY have had...might be

MAY have had...might be invasive...They didn't even KNOW that it had anything that would harm other species at all !! WHY could they not have tranked the deer and inspected it for those lice or any other harmful species of 'whatever' ???? If any person other than a government agent had done this, they would be in jail so fast !! I'm appalled.



Another option would have

Another option would have been to have consulted an expert on European fallow deer first, and conducted tests for diseases. If no diseases were detected, the animal could have been left alone, or possibly transported to a wild animal park, for instance, the one in San Diego County.

I don't understand why they

I don't understand why they couldn't have just kept him away from other deer and wildlife. He wasn't hurting anyone, there had to be another way for them to have handled this. It's a shame.

Mike McClure, It is a state

Mike McClure, It is a state policy and action of the State of California, not a county action. Frank was doing his job. Exotic disease exposure can be catastrophic, just like with Native Americans. Attacking the county is mis-informed. Attacking Frank by name calling is off target as well. If you understand the biological imperative, as he does, you might have a different view.

I think the disease issue

I think the disease issue goes beyond lice. Just like European humans infected Native Americans with diseases for which they were not immune, so too could this exotic deer present exotic disease strains. It is the DFG's OBLIGATION to protect California wildlife. The warden did what he is supposed to do.

Doesn't make sense, this

Doesn't make sense, this little deer must have had parents, so it's not like this was the only European deer, such a weak reason to kill a deer.

Frank is a creep. This county

Frank is a creep. This county is the biggest joke there ever was. That would only happen here in this joke of a county along with the supervisors.

Frank is a local hero. About

Frank is a local hero. About 5 years ago, when our regular law enforcement ranks were too low to cover our county, Frank responded to an emergency. He single-handedly apprehended a dangerous armed criminal. We shouldn't bad-mouth him for doing his job. He has proven he cares about Mariposa. Maybe shooting the deer was the right thing to do, BUT it is a public relations nightmare- and will probably cause more harm to our wildlife in the long run. Why? Because no one will contact Fish and Game in the future. I really can't imagine how I would have reacted if someone drove onto my land and shot a deer I'd come to admire.

Any animal or human CAN carry

Any animal or human CAN carry lice...what an absurd excuse...should have neutered it and left it alone...fallow deer are gorgeous.

I guess this article doesn't

I guess this article doesn't express how "dangerous" this deer was. Because I cant see any reason why they would have to kill it. They say it may have been caring lice? And what if it wasn't? Pointless killing I'd say.

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