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Family's Pet Deer Shot by Game Warden

Family cited for 'unlawful possession of wildlife without a permit'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 5, 2017 7:25 PM CST
Family's Pet Deer Shot by Game Warden
Stock image   (Getty Images/DaveAlan)

A western Kansas family is outraged after game wardens killed a deer that was allowed inside their house and took walks with the family, the AP reports. Kim Mcgaughey said the mule deer was "very much a big pet" and that there was "no reason for her to be killed." But it's illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet in Kansas, and wildlife officials raised concerns that the animal could hurt people or spread disease, according to the Wichita Eagle. Mcgaughey said neighbors found the deer—named Faline after Bambi's friend—and that she had an "instant connection" upon meeting the animal. Her daughter has photos of her 8-year-old son playing with the deer, as well as the animal standing on the couch looking out the window or being hugged by family members.

Game wardens became involved after Mcgaughey asked on Facebook whether anyone had seen the deer when it disappeared for several days. She was issued a ticket for "unlawful possession of wildlife without a permit," said Mark Rankin, law enforcement assistant director for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. Three game wardens met at Mcgaughey's house and determined it wouldn't be safe to capture the deer. Rankin said there was also concern that the deer could be carrying chronic wasting disease, a fatal disease for which live deer can't be tested. Mcgaughey's daughter filmed the wardens herding the animal toward where it was shot. The department's secretary says he's sure the wardens didn't enjoy killing the deer. (More deer stories.)

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