Video of deer trapped in netting in Texas causes controversy
AUSTIN, Texas (KEYE) - A video clip of several deer trapped in netting in Lakeway, Texas, is drawing condemnation from animal rights groups.
Action for Animals says a video sent to its board of directors shows deer trapped in the net calling out in distress and panic, some bleeding from the mouth and nose, some with broken bones and one or two that appear to be dead.
The video was reportedly taken by a Lakeway resident on March 8. Citizen Advocates for Animals posted on Facebook two days later.
(WARNING: Some viewers might find the video below disturbing.)
Mark Abdo, who has lived in Lakeway for 22 years, believes the city's method of capturing deer is inhumane. He was disturbed by the video he saw showing the deer trapped beneath the nets.
"I think there would be a better way," said Abdo. "When you see them and you hear them sound like they are screaming or yelling at you, it really sucks to hear that."
Lakeway's city manager, Steve Jones, says trapping the deer with nets and sending them off for processing is the only option for now.
"According to a permit, we're doing it in a way the State of Texas requires it to be done," Jones said.
Jones says once the deer are trapped, the city can either have them sent to be processed or take them to a Texas Parks and Wildlife approved ranch for refuge.
"We'd still have to trap them and we can relocate them, but we've been unable to find a ranch that can take them," Jones said.
The city started trapping the white-tailed deer in 1999 to control the growing population. On average, it captures around 115 deer annually between the months of October and March.
Jones says controlling the population helps cut down on accidents caused by deer. Last year, he says about 90 of them caused car collisions in Lakeway. He also says not controlling the deer population can lead to them starving and being more susceptible to diseases.
Despite some pushback, the net trapping doesn't bother Lakeway resident Chuck Purbaugh, who has been dealing with the deer defecating in his yard for almost two decades.
"There (are) eight or 10 of them and they're messing all over, the kids can't play in the yard," Purbaugh said. "Nobody wants to get rid of all the deer but thin them out a little bit."