Woman gored by deer at Pasco sanctuary where lion escaped - WFLA News Channel 8

Woman gored by deer at Pasco sanctuary where lion escaped

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A woman was gored by a deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county. A woman was gored by a deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county.
A woman was gored by this deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county. A woman was gored by this deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county.
A woman was gored by this deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county. A woman was gored by this deer Friday morning at the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco county.
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - The 911 call was met with disbelief.

"My sister has been gored by a deer". 

"She's what?"

"My sister has been gored by a deer".

That was part of the call placed by Judy Watson, the owner of the Survival Outreach Sanctuary in Pasco County.  The injury suffered by her sister was the latest in a string of issues at the facility.  Last week, a lion burrowed out of her enclosure and wandered the sanctuary until she was tranquilized and moved to a different cage.

The USDA regulates sanctuaries like Survival Outreach and is currently conducting its yearly inspection.  Last February, it found problems with the lion cage, where digging had taken place, exposing footings and wire.  The USDA gave Survival Outreach one month to fix those problems.

The deer that gored Watson's sister actually was spotted when Florida Fish and Wildlife Officials went to check on the lion.  Vernon Yates, who runs a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Seminole, noticed the deer wasn't in its cage, which was the start of the problem.  The buck charged the men several times, hampering their ability to find the lion.  Yates offered to cut off the deer's antlers, but was rebuked.

"And the one guy told me by cutting his antlers off would be cruel and that's not really true, because they shed their antlers,” Yates said.  "It just makes them safer.  I've seen male deer hurt people before and that's exactly what I told them up there.  You're playing Russian Roulette with him.  He's going to hurt somebody".

Yates says it's mating season, and male deer care about three things: eating, fighting and breeding.  As the owner of a 10-point buck which has gored and tossed him over a fence before, he feels people aren't aware of the dangers.

"When you see all these shows, when good animals go bad and you see deer attacking hunters and so forth", Yates said.  And you stop and you think about my big buck.  He's a 10-point buck, which means he's got 10 spikes sticking out of him.  When he comes at you full force with those, it's like stabbing you with 10 knives at one time.”

The deer that attacked the woman will be neutered and have its antlers removed.

Officials say charges are possible against Watson.

The Survival Outreach Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that provides homes to abused, unwanted and abandoned exotic animals of all species, according to the organization's website.

 
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