US poacher ordered to watch ′Bambi′ in prison | News | DW | 18.12.2018
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US poacher ordered to watch 'Bambi' in prison

One prolific poacher in Missouri will have to watch the heart-wrenching Walt Disney classic "Bambi" once a month behind bars. The man is accused of taking the heads of hundreds of deer and leaving the bodies to rot.

For his role in illegally killing hundreds of deer, a man in the US state of Missouri was sentenced to prison and regular screenings of the animated film "Bambi," US media reported on Monday.

The defendant, identified as David Berry Jr., was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to taking wildlife illegally in Lawrence County, Missouri. The judge also ordered him to watch "Bambi" once a month for the duration of his sentence.

The 1942 Walt Disney classic is renowned for its pioneering animation, as well as its heart-breaking story about a baby deer whose mother is killed by poachers.

The scene where the young fawn, Bambi, curls up next to his dead mother is often ranked as one of the saddest moments in cinema — and prompted Time magazine to include the movie as one of its top horror movies of all time.

Read more: South Africa: To stop poachers, provide them with an alternative income

Massive poaching case

Berry and two of his family members are accused of illegally killing several hundred deer over three years, authorities said.

"It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years," Lawrence County conservation agent Andy Barnes said in a statement. "It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally."

Read more: Can trophy hunting really help species survival?

The 29-year-old was already on probation and had seen his hunting privileges revoked for past wildlife infractions.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has called it one of the largest poaching cases in the state's history.

"The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste," Lawrence County prosecuting attorney Don Trotter said in a statement.

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rs/rc (AFP, dpa)

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