Petite Key Deer on Big Pine Key

Two weeks ago, en route to a fishing/book-research trip to Key West, I stopped overnight on Big Pine Key and stayed at the secluded and eclectic Barnacle Bed & Breakfast. Just a few hundred yards down the road I came across a half-dozen key deer foraging in the mangroves. Key deer are the smallest race of North American deer and nearly all are found on Big Pine Key and adjacent No Name Key. According to the National Wildlife Refuge officer I spoke to, there are about 700 living here. A typical adult weighs only about sixty pounds and stands less than two-and-half feet tall at the shoulder. This little guy stood still just long enough for me to snap a quick photo. Photo below of the beach at the Barnacle.
Bruce Hunt


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