Wild deer is Fla. boy’s best friend

April 21st, 2010 by

LAKELAND, Florida (CNN/BAY NEWS 9) - Dogs may be man’s best friend, but a wild deer is a Lakeland, Florida eight-year-old boy’s best friend.

And after a months-long separation, Hunter Brozio and Bucket the deer have been reunited.

“I thought I’d just never see him again,” Hunter said.

Bucket and the Brozio family dog, Bear, wandered off in December and vanished. Hunter’s mother Debbie spent weeks trying to figure out where the animals ran off to.

She finally found Bear after searching the Polk County Animal Control website.

“A friend told me to go on the Animal Control Polk County web site to see if Bear was there, and there was Bear’s mug shot, the chocolate lab’s mug shot. And so then I was able to trace the deer to Florida Fish and Game,” she said.

Brozio said she then was able to track Bucket down through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

She said it cost her $3,000 and months of hurdling red tape, but now Bucket is home where he will stay.

Brozio added the family’s ranch is now a licensed game preserve.

“We became a licensed with the State of Florida game preserve. And so we followed their guidelines and built a pen to their specifications.”

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