By: Summer Livengood
In Big Pine Key, there resides a subspecies of the White-tailed deer known as Key Deer.The first key deers to be discovered were in 1575 by a Spanish explorer who shipwrecked on the Florida keys. Key deer are part of the white tailed deer. People assume that they migrated here from the mainland.Key deer are endangered from hunting, harassing, and hitting deers with motorized vehicles.
Less than 1,000 are currently living in the Florida keys because of people hitting the deers with cars, hunting, and other actions. For key deer zones like Big Pine they have deer crossing signs and also to drive slowly. You can get sent to jail for trapping, hunting, or killing a Key Deer. A man in big pine (name unknown) was found with a dead key deer in his trunk. He was charged $100,000 and had to go to jail for a year. If you get caught for trapping a key deer also you will be charged a fine.
These animals are so important and special that you’re not supposed to pet, harass, or do anything that could hurt or endanger them. Feeding can also affect their natural ways so when you start feeding they may depend on being fed by humans. No Name Key is found down on the big pine key and one of the most popular tourist areas because of the key deer. No name pub restaurant is based in the center so people can eat and see key deer. Also many key deer can be found at the blue hole where an alligator, crocodile, and other wildlife live. Since there is so little left they need to be protected by putting restrictions on speeding in Key Deer zones, hunting them, and feeding them. If we were to kill off the key deer, it could affect ecosystem balance. There are many ways to help and keep key deer down here for as long as we can.