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Life-Saving Food Taken to Stranded Deer in Everglades

October 27, 1994| Associated Press

THE EVERGLADES, Fla. — Game officers and volunteers headed into the Everglades on Wednesday to gather native plants to feed starving deer that are trapped by high water.

So far this month, more than 50 white-tailed deer have been found dead, some in water too deep for foraging, in an area west of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Game officials estimate that 1,500 deer are stranded in the area.

Gov. Lawton Chiles, who joined the expedition run by the state Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, said the problem was caused by recent heavy rain.

The flooding also has been attributed to water being pumped south by Florida water managers to protect farmland in the northern Everglades.

The water trapped the deer on isolated hummocks that lack enough forage to support them.

Fish and Game Lt. Col. Dan Dunford, coordinator of the emergency feeding project, said the flooding was affecting other animals also, not just the deer.

In 1982 flooding, hundreds of deer starved to death, drowned or died from hoof rot.

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