Key deer scramble through debris after Hurricane Irma

Animal lovers celebrate evidence of a few survivors

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. - Hurricane Irma's 130-mph winds damaged the fence surrounding the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, so a few deer were looking through debris in a residential area and exploring areas along U.S. 1 in packs. 

Miami-Dade police officer Rick Bravo told the Florida Weekly Thursday that drivers in Big Pine Key needed to be careful because "they are everywhere."

Bravo also said, the deer embody "the spirit of Conch Republic residents."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has yet to determine how the endangered population of about 1,000 fared after the Category 4 storm. 

Authorities moved quickly to rescue survivors and rushed to deliver water and food to the people who braved the storm in the Florida Keys. Big Pine Key remained closed to the public. 

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