Key Deer – Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge – Big Pine Key, Florida – 09/09/2011

Although Key Deer live on about 25 different islands in the Florida Keys, they are most heavily concentrated in Big Pine Key and No Name Key, in the Lower Keys.

In the 1950’s only a few dozen animals remained, and the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge was eventually established to protect their declining numbers.

Today, almost a thousand deer are out there!

And on Big Pine Key, especially, there are so many you’d never know the species was once so dangerously close to extinction.

Be careful, though!

Follow all speed limits through the area. They are there for a reason!

Habitat loss and TRAFFIC are the two factors that still remain their largest challenge.

And, of course, remember, they are WILD animals, and should not be approached or fed!

But, enjoy them quietly and safely from a distance!

Because they are SOOOO cute!

Just look at their little faces!