Wildlife expert Vernon Yates captures deer that gored elderly woman at Survival Outreach Sanctuary

6:21 PM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Lion escapes from enclosure at Pasco County wildlife sanctuary


Spring Hill, Florida -- A wildlife expert captured a deer that seriously injured a woman at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary last week.

The deer punctured 75-year-old Sylvia Fernandez's eye on Friday morning. She's the sister of the animal sanctuary's owner.

See Also: Elderly woman's eye gouged out by deer trying to mate

This is the same facility where an African lion escaped from its enclosure a week earlier.

Vernon Yates, who operates Wildlife Rescue and Rehab in Pinellas County and who helped capture the lion, took the deer into custody Monday afternoon and moved it to a new state-run educational facility where it will be kept a safe distance away from humans.

"I luckily got FWC to seize it so she wouldn't have her veterinarian euthanize it, because its not the deer's fault, it is -- for lack of a better way of saying it -- incompetent people around it," Yates told 10 News Monday.

Meanwhile, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the USDA are investigating the case and the sanctuary owner, Judy Watson, could face charges. Watson has already been charged with a misdemeanor in the case of the lion that got loose.

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