Tuesday, December 19, 2006

News: Couple Accused of Raising Pet Deer

Penn. buck that viciously attacked woman was raised as pet.

Officials: Same buck attacked two others in November

A Clintondale couple has been charged with taking a fawn out of the wild and raising it as a pet -- the same deer that viciously attacked another couple last month, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Ronald and Tina Underkoffler, of Woodward Avenue, have been charged by the Game Commission with unlawful taking or possession of wildlife after an investigation into the mauling of a Clintondale couple Nov. 15

District Wildlife Conservation Officer Kenneth J. Packard said in court documents that the deer taken from the wild as a fawn in summer 2005 is the seven-point buck that gored Frank Rishel and Linda Yost in their backyard.

If convicted, the Underkofflers each face minimum $300 fines, according to the Game Commission.

Game Commission Press Secretary Jerry Feaser said he could not comment further.

"We will present our case before the district magistrate's office," Feaser said.

The buck attacked Rishel early that morning when he went outside to shoo the deer away from the couple's back door. Yost called state police before running outside with a steak knife to help her housemate, police said.

Instead, she became the second victim.

When two state troopers arrived, they found Rishel motionless on the ground and the buck still on top of Yost trying to gore her, police said.

One of the troopers had to grab its antlers and pull it off of Yost before the troopers could shoot safely and end the attack.

The carcass was taken for necropsy, but no signs of illness were found, Feaser said.

"Our test results came back negative for rabies and CWD (chronic wasting disease)," he said.

A theory presented at the time was that whitetails are in the rut at that time of year, when bucks become aggressive and have been known to attack humans, although on rare occasions.

"If any animal would lose its fear of people and remain in the wild, it could become a very dangerous animal," Feaser said.

Packard could not be reached Monday, and it was unclear whether the Underkofflers released the buck back into the wild at some point.

Source: Centre Daily Times Pennsylvania

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

people who do these types of things with no permit or lisence to own a deer should be charged.

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