Darling’s Key Deer Cartoon Began His Campaign To Save It

provided to Santiva Chronicle

The nation’s foremost political cartoonist at the time, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling spent many winters on Captiva Island in the mid-1930s and fought strenuously, through letter-writing campaigns and the strength of his syndicated cartoons, to save Sanibel and Captiva from development. The cartoonist’s interest in Florida extended beyond the islands, however. His campaign to save Florida’s key deer began with this cartoon, “The Smallest Species of Deer in North America, Alone, Unguarded And On Its Way Out.” It ended in a bill and Keys refuge to save the deer, thanks to Darling. He saw to the creation of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which celebrates 75 years in 2020.

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