Keys Last Stand asks you to please consider signing and sharing this petition urging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to provide  appropriate field treatment to remove the garbage that has become afixed to the Florida Endangered Key Deer. Field treatment will minimize the length of time that these deer suffer.  Some may argue that no interference ensures the survival of the fittest. However, the fittest deer can not thrive when living in a garbage ridden environment. The deer are living amongst the people in the Lower Florida Keys. This is not a natural habitat devoid of human interference.  Here’s the text of the petition:

The endangered Key Deer reside on a few islands in the Lower Florida Keys.  Development and human encroachment has led to the injury and death of the endangered Key Deer as the deer becomes entangled with human garbage.  PVC pipe fittings are expecially dangerous because the deer step through the pipes, which then become stuck.  This may lead to necrosis and impairment of movement.  Deer have become entangled in fishing lines, fishing nets, fishing hooks, common household garbage and ropes.  The Key Deer are suffering as these entanglements impact their health and well being.

We are requesting that the USFWS develop a proactive and consistent plan to provide field treatment for the Key Deer when they become impacted by human garbage.  This plan should include the use of the appropriate equipment to safely subdue the deer to remove the items.  The officers also need the appropriate training to use the equipment.   A local nonprofit, Save Our Key Deer, Inc., has offered to purchase drive nets if the agencies agree to receive training and use them.  The USFWS also needs to develop a plan which addresses the Key Deer entanglements and injuries in a timely manner.  This plan needs to be transparent and communicated to the public to ensure that the Key Deer can coexist with human populations.

We are requesting a timely response, proper equipment to capture the deer for treatment, training of officers and communication with the public.

Thank you!

RE the Featured Photo: Residents first reported this unfortunate buck with the PVC pipe on its leg on 04/03/22.  He was last seen on 08/24/22 on Big Pine Key in the Avenues residential neighborhood.  He is still limping with the PVC pipe firmly attached to his leg.