New Footage Shows Cops Pulling Over Couple Only To Discover Endangered Animal Stuffed In Back Of Their Car

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Newly released footage shows the moment Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a couple allegedly carrying a live endangered animal in their vehicle.

The videos allegedly show Yoankis Hernandez Pena and Andres Leon Valdes attempting to explain to the deputies why they were transporting an endangered Key deer in July during a traffic stop, Local 10 reported.

The Key deer was discovered after deputies pulled the couple over near Curry Hammock State Park in Marathon, Florida, according to the report. The footage shows that the suspects told the deputies they accidentally hit the deer near Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon.

Police said the suspects failed to alert law enforcement because they were hoping to find a place in Miami, Florida, to take the deer to be examined, the outlet noted. (RELATED: Video Shows Police Officer Using Patrol Car, Rope To Wrangle Alligator)

“I’m not buying the story,” one deputy said. “I’m not, either,” the other deputy replied.

There is no Key deer habitat near where the two said the deer ran out in front of their car, according to one of the deputies. “We know there’s no key deer in Vaca Cut,” one officer said.

An evaluation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife facility in Big Pine Key found that the deer was paralyzed from a shattered pelvis. It was later euthanized. The couple is facing animal cruelty charges at a hearing scheduled for March 22, according to the report.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife is responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats, according to the agency’s website.