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No Dasher! No Dancer! No Prancer or Vixen

Effort to Relocate a Deer Herd from Bali Governor's Mansion Ends Tragically for Four Animals

(12/20/2008) Local forestry officials, working on orders from Bali’s Governor Pastika, recently tried to relocate 18 semi-tame deer living in the grounds of his residence in downtown Depasar. According to Radar Bali, the efforts to corral and capture the deer went badly wrong causing the death of four of the animals.

The tragic incident came to light on Sunday, December 14, 2008, following, according to Radar Bali, three days during which officials tried to conceal the deaths from the press.

The deer, which were given as a gift to the Governor's residence by former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, were being moved because of the high cost of maintaining the animals the unpleasant smells they generated.

The death of the four deer is being blamed on the inexpert techniques used by forestry officials who tried to use capture cages. The use of the cages for capturing deer is normally a process that requires painstaking work over several weeks to complete successfully. The officials tried to herd the deer into the cages in the matter of a few hours, resulting in the deer going each other to death with their massive antlers, crashing into boundary fences and at least one to die of supposed exhaustion the following day.

Refusing to sustain a total loss with the death of the four animals, the forestry officials decided field-dressed two of the deer, dividing the meat among their team. Two other deer, considered to small to butcher, were buried on the grounds immediately

Of the 15 surviving deer 6 were sent to Peyangan (Gianyar), 7 to Marga (Tabanan) and one was given to the Vice-governor Puspayoga to serve as a mate for two female deer already confined at his residence on Jalan Nangka Utara.

When members of the press questioned Governor Pastika regarding the deer he confirmed he had ordered their removal because of the unpleasant smell of their waste by-products. When told that four of the deer had died, the Governor remarked, “what, I didn't know that, how could they have died?"