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Fla. Deputies Free Deer Bagged by Fondness for Chips

BIG PINE KEY, Fla. -- Endangered and federally protected key deer normally eat a diet of native plants such as red and black mangroves and thatch palm berries.

But evidence collected early Sunday suggests they have a fondness for Doritos as well.

Two Monroe County Sheriff's deputies on patrol spotted a deer with an empty chips bag over its head just after midnight as the diminutive animal stood by the side No Name Road in the Port Pine Heights subdivision on Big Pine Key, said Deputy Becky Herrin.

"It must have wanted that last chip in the bottom of the bag," she said.

The deer calmly waited for the deputies to approach, said Herrin. Deputy Joshua Gordon snapped a cellphone picture, and then, with the deer fully cooperating, removed the bag, said Herrin. No longer bagged and blind, the deer then scampered away.

"I think it wanted that bag off," said Herrin of the normally skittish deer, a miniature subspecies of the white-tailed deer found only in the Lower Keys.

Herrin said it was unlikely that someone had deliberately covered the deer's head with the bag.

The green color of the bag suggests it may have contained Doritos DINAMITA Chile Limon Rolled Flavored Tortilla Chips.

"Poor thing!," wrote Herrin in a news release. "I wonder how long it was on there?"

Once near extinction, key deer now number about 800, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Copyright 2013 - Sun Sentinel

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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