A California family who considers a rescued deer part of their clan will reportedly have to part ways with the animal.
The Cervantes family saved Florecita when they found her mother dead on the road near their Sacramento County home, eventually feeding the animal with a bottle, Fox 40 reports.
“She is pretty much like my child,” said Saida Ponce. “We raised her since she was probably like seven days old. She had her umbilical cord still attached to her.”
Neighbors, likewise, love Florecita, who runs freely on the family’s large property.
“She is like a family member to this family, a very young family, which is learning the value of a pet and how you care for them properly,” neighbor Debbie Atkins said.
California Fish and Game officials, however, will be taking the animal away, saying their intention is to do what’s best for the deer, which would be to return her to the wild if possible. State law says it’s illegal for the average person to keep a wild animal.
“I am never going to see her again,” said 7-year-old Ulises Cervantes.