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Hunters hired to control invasive species on Hawaii island kill first axis deer

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Hunters hired to control invasive species on Hawaii island have killed their first axis deer.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday the deer was captured in the southern part of the island.

Big Island Invasive Species Committee Manager Jan Schipper declined to say specifically where the deer was killed to prevent interference with the committee’s two hunters.

The animal native to India and Sri Lanka was first introduced to Molokai and Oahu in 1868, Lanai in 1920, and Maui in 1959, but they hadn’t been found on the Big Island until last year.

Non-native mammals such as like pigs and goats already damage the island’s environment. But axis deer are a new type of menace in part because they’re so large they can jump over fences that are meant to protect native forests.

 

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