Deer can live a little longer in France, need for solution to save them

Two adult deer and one baby deer on green grass
Deer family, photo: shanelinkcom via Canva

A small win for three deer who were going to be killed in France. A petition launched to save their lives was signed so many times that the owners of the land where the deer live decided to let the animals live a few months longer.

The male deer Pépère, female Chéribelle and baby deer Bambilou have been living for twenty years on private property in Saint-Germain-le-Châtelet in France. 

When the landowner passed away, his heirs decided to kill the deer living there so that they could sell the land.

When hearing the news, resident Jean-Jacques Darriet started a petition to save the deer and find them a new location to live. Within three days, 43,000 people signed the petition. 

“They [the owners of the land] asked us to withdraw the petition, and in exchange, they give us some time for a solution, before they sell their land,” Jean-Jacques Darriet told news network France Bleu on Friday.

“Legally, it’s complicated. If the animals escape and cause an accident, the owners are responsible. They find it too complicated to keep them,” Darriet said when he launched the petition.

“The town hall does not want to interfere. I offered to rent or buy the land, but I was told no. So their last solution is to have them slaughtered,” Darriet explained.

For many years, the animals have been fed by a local in the morning, and by Darriet in the evening. “They are on a private domain, but volunteer residents take care of them. And they [the deer] give it back to us. They are very affectionate,” Darriet said.

Darriet would like the animals to die of old age. “It’s a matter of one or two years, no more. The deer and doe are old. They don’t deserve to die of a gunshot,” Darriet added.

“It is quite possible to let Pépère and Chériebelle end their lives on private property. Their advanced age means that they will probably not live more than two years,” animal rights organization Free Life said in a statement.

“As for the youngest, his transfer could take place in a sanctuary that we propose to find for him,” Free Life added.

The Animal Reader is a small, independent news platform with daily posts about issues affecting animals.

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