To many in the Northwest Arkansas community, Doug the deer was like a family pet. You could regularly see him roaming around John Brown Universities’ campus making friends.
The university reached out to Arkansas Game and Fish who said Doug was ultimately a potential danger and had to be removed.
Now, many residents are concerned about the fate of Doug.
Amber Jeka and her family first met Doug at her son’s soccer practice. “Doug just came right up to my husband and we were just like oh my goodness!! There’s a deer, ” said Jeka.
Now his Facebook fans are upset, after rumors of Doug being euthanized appeared on his page.
Arkansas game and fish said, Doug is in safe keeping. “The deer’s doing real well.We’re trying to watch it.To make sure that it’s healthy and everything’s ok before it’s released,” said Keith Stephens with Arkansas Game and Fish.
Residents are concerned that if Doug is released onto public property, he could be hunted and killed, and their hoping there’s a better solution.
“I think it’s really sad. I mean Doug is not just an average deer, he is a very special case and I think that he deserves better than that, ” said Jeka.
Game and fish said, Doug will be released onto public property in northern Arkansas in about four weeks. They said because he’s wild, private sanctuaries will not accept him.
“Well you don’t want to put a wild animal in captivity. You know, you want it to be out in the wild and also it’s against our regulations,” said Stephens.
Amber said she understands that Doug is a wild animal but she’s worried he isn’t prepared.
“That’s something that,I think about all the time, I’m like here’s this you know, semi-domesticated deer,not afraid of people,who knows how he is with other animals.”
Though Doug’s Fate is unclear at this time, one thing is for sure, he is loved by many in the community.