A family from western Kansas was completely distraught when the pet deer they have known and loved for 22 months was shot on their property by game officials.
Kim McGaughey told The Wichita Eagle that the deer “was like one of the family.” The deer, named Faline, after Bambi’s friend and future mate in the cartoon movie was very much a big pet and that there was no reason for her to be killed.
“Her being domesticated was her own doing,” McGaughey said. “She chose to stay. I never kept her from going away and being with other deer.”
But on December 19, Kansas game wardens came to the home of Mark and Kim McGaughey and within 45 minutes the deer was shot on the property.
In the video, shot by Kim’s daughter Taryn Mcgaughey, the wardens pull up to the family’s home and demand the deer be given up so they could shoot it.
In the state of Kansas it is illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet, but Robin Dennison, the Wildlife and Parks secretary, said he’s confident that game wardens acted within their authority, but would the agency to reexamine its policy on euthanizing wildlife.
A man with the wildlife department named Rankin said there were concerns the deer could be carrying chronic wasting disease, a fatal deer disease spreading through Kansas, so their options on moving the deer were limited, and live deer cannot be tested for the disease.
The Wichita Times wrote: “Rather than taking a chance the deer might not be there if the game wardens left and came back later, Rankin said game warden Tanner Dixson shot the animal near some trees on the McGaughey’s’ property, at the edge of the driveway.”
Kim McGaughey questions the rush, saying the deer was dead within 45 minutes of the game wardens arriving and during that time, she contacted three zoos to see if they would take the animal, but there wasn’t enough time.
“After having her 22 months, they couldn’t even give us 12 hours to try to take her to a sanctuary,” said Taryn McGaughey. “They said they were worried about our safety, but cats and dogs carry more diseases than any deer ever would.”
Now, the family is devastated over the loss of Faline. “She was just like a dog. She’d put her face up to you to be petted,” said Taryn McGaughey. “I have pictures of us laying together out in the yard.”
Faline also came and went as she pleased. She was not confined in any way to the family’s property and she only wore a collar so that hunters wouldn’t see her and kill her. This is a loss that has devastated the family and us too.
Watch the video below and please let us know what you think about the game wardens decision in the comments section.
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[Featured Image Credit: The Wichita Eagle- McGaughey Family]