A Paraguayan soldier has died after having his chest pierced by a deer belonging to President Mario Abdo Benítez's private wildlife collection, it was reported Wednesday.
Wild animals live in the Presidential residence and wander freely throughout its gardens.
Infantry Assistant Sergeant Víctor Isasi Flecha died aged 42 due to a perforation in his thorax, after being attacked frontally in the early hours of Monday by an axis deer from India, military spokesman Colonel Víctor Urdapilleta explained. Isasi was a widower and orphaned a 10-year-old girl.
Exotic animals are housed at the presidential residence known for its Guarani name Mburuvicha Róga. There are 10 hectares not far from downtown Asunción, where some native species such as rheas, macaws and a mboreví (South American tapir) cohabit with the deer. Wild animals have lived at the presidential residence for decades.
”In the security camera it is seen that (the sergeant) enters the sector where these animals are and makes an action (raises his hand) that causes the reaction of the deer, Urdapilleta elaborated.
The man died on the night of Monday 3 as a result of cardiorespiratory arrest, cardiac tamponade, probable closed chest trauma, resulting from piercing injuries, according to a statement from the Paraguayan Armed Forces.
Isasi had no need to go there, Urdapilleta regretted. After the attack, he was assisted by security personnel and later transferred to the Rigoberto Caballero hospital until where he was stabilized. He was later ferried to the Military Hospital, where he died.
Frederic Bauer, Director of Wildlife at the Ministry of the Environment, said the axis deer stemmed from a government ranch in San José de los Arroyos, about 110 km east of Asunción. Bauer also admitted it is not appropriate to have exotic animals in captivity, but there is no regulation” and assured that those responsible for the presidential house consulted the Ministry of the Environment before adding it to the presidential gardens.