MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – Authorities in Monroe County found a key deer alive and injured in the back of an SUV.
Key deer are endangered in Florida and harming them is a federal offense.
The traffic stop happened near Mile Marker 56 in July.
Local 10 News has obtained the dash cam video that shows some of what deputies saw.
Authorities said the blue SUV was swerving northbound on the overseas highway.
Soon, deputies made a startling discovery. There was key deer shoved inside the vehicle, on top of a cooler and lawn chairs.
In the video, the deer appears to be in distress.
The men in the SUV reportedly claimed they struck the deer after getting off the seven mile bridge in Marathon.
“...this was odd,” a deputy wrote in his report, “as I knew from experience Key deer do not live in the Marathon area....”
Authorities say the men “…decided to put it inside their vehicle in order to take it to Miami to get it help.”
However, the men never called 911 or wildlife authorities.
The injured deer was taken to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife facility in Big Pine Key where an exam by a veterinarian “...found the deer to have its back legs paralyzed...and a shattered pelvis.”
The two men were arrested and sadly the deer had to be euthanized.