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The picture above shows Tommy Young in August 2014 with the deer that was killed during a burglary at the Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center in September 2016.

Wildlife Center Burglarized; Criminals Leave Poached Deer Behind


On September 28th, Wildlife Rehabilitator Tommy Young was crushed when he arrived at the Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center to find a 4-year old whitetail buck, that he has raised and rehabilitated since it was a juvenile, slaughtered in its pen.

Young said the buck had been shot with three arrows and left lying in the pen. “I have had the deer since it was brought here after being hit by a car. He was young and I had to wire his jaw shut. One side was so shattered that he lost his jaw on that side and his tongue always hung out. He was non-releasable,” Young explained.

Although it’s not a new problem, it still delivers a blow when it happens. “In the past, the deer in Janssen Park, when there used to be a pen there, big deer were killed. It happens all over. I’ve never understood it.”

Not only did the perpetrators kill the deer, they also robbed the zoo’s museum that houses supplies, memorabilia, and smaller animals. “They took taxidermy, deer antlers, fishing poles, tools, pictures off the wall; they had to have spent hours in there to get as much stuff as they did,” said Young. Some of the antique taxidermy that was taken included: deer mounts, minks, weasels, otters, and squirrels.

The investigation into who committed the crimes is ongoing. Arkansas Game and Fish are investigating the poaching of the deer and the Polk County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the robbery of the museum.

Tommy Young and his supporters are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. If you have any information, contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Department at 479-394-2511 or Tommy Young at 479-243-0976.


  1. This sickens me. Total lack of respect for innocent animals, the community and the people who do good work and try to make this world a better place to live for all. We need stronger laws and penalties for those who commit such heinous crimes as this. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and made to serve out the entire sentence. Not let off on probation. Until criminals like this learn that we won’t tolerate this sort of behavior, Arkansas will continue to have more animal abuse cases. All life deserves respect!!

  2. This is awful. There is NO reason for this. In my believe the criminals when found should be charged 28th felonys. Serve at least a full year in a big Arkansas dept. Of corrections. And not be allowed to own any animals. They only way to stop this kind of behavior is show them it is not worth it and they will pay.

  3. This is shameful…………things like this happen all over and it makes you wonder why people choose to kill and destroy for no other reason but meaness.

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