We have a sad update to a story about a mystery deer spotted in Mariposa County. The deer has been found, but it is no longer alive. A game warden for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shot and killed the deer on Monday. This has upset many people in Mariposa County who saw the fallow deer up close, especially one woman, who named him "Powder."
"I just didn't know it would happen that fast," says Reghina Crump.
Crump says she didn't know when she allowed a game warden on her property, the fallow deer she named "Powder" would die.
"I did ask the game warden if there was somewhere he could go like a farm or ranch," adds Crump.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife sent KMPH this statement, "On July 22, a fallow deer in Mariposa County was dispatched by our wildlife officers out of concern for our native California mule deer. Pursuant to fish and game code 2189, non-native wildlife at large within this state can be taken by our enforcement staff."
A wildlife expert for the department told KMPH that fallow deer have lice and that lice causes native deer to loose their hair and it weakens their immune system. However, Crump says "Powder" wasn't bothering anybody.
"He just walked back and forth between the walnut tree and the wood shed," says Crump, "It was kind of his place the woodshed, because it was shaded in the morning."
Crump also says "Powder" was still young when he started hanging around her property in May.
"He looked pretty bad actually," says Crump, "He had sores on his neck and he was just covered in flies. He was really skinny and didn't have much of an antler."
The fallow deer ate peaches and grapes off trees in Crump's yard. She says "Powder" started doing really well just before he was put down.
"Eventually he just started gaining weight and the sores went away," Crump adds.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says no one is licensed to have fallow deer in Mariposa County. So, they still don't know where "Powder" came from. The department also says it needs to be contacted right away if anyone sees another fallow deer or non-native animal.