Pasco Tribune

Pasco deer that gored woman moving to another facility

NEW PORT RICHEY — The deer responsible for goring a Spring Hill woman will be moved from the facility today, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation spokesman Gary Morse.

Sylvia Fernandez, 75, was at Survival Outreach Sanctuary on Friday morning when the buck gored her eye. Fernandez is the sister of facility owner Judy Watson.

“The deer is going to be moved to another facility today where it can safely be confined,” Morse said.

A 911 call, placed from the facility, reveals the nature of what took place that morning.

The caller, a woman, said her sister was bleeding from her eye and she was covered with blood.

“Is it completely out of the socket?” the operator asked. “Yes,” she responded.

Both women waited in an RV on the property for emergency medical help to arrive.

A formal investigation has been opened to determined what took place on Friday, Morse said.

Survival Outreach Sanctuary, 22005 Bowman Road in Spring Hill, was founded in 1990 by Watson to help abused, unwanted and abandoned animals, according to its website. The nonprofit facility houses large cats, wolf-dogs and other wildilfe.

This is the second incident in a week that has drawn attention to the sanctuary.

On Jan. 3, a 150-pound female lion escaped its enclosure and had to be tranquilized.

“The bottom line is that these animals have genetic predispositions to certain things,” Morse said. “And this buck may be in a rut, which means that his hormones maybe raging, which can cause additional problems. I think the message here is trying to make pets out of wildlife is not a good idea.”

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