Poacher Sentenced to Watch ‘Bambi’ Once a Month in Jail After Illegally Killing Deer

A Missouri judge is serving justice with help from a Disney animated classic.
Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by GTV Archive/REX/Shutterstock (390893ge)FILM STILLS OF 'BAMBI' WITH 1942, BAMBI, DAVID HAND IN 1942VARIOUS
"Bambi" (1942)
GTV Archive/REX/Shutterstock

Disney’s 1942 animated classic “Bambi” is widely considered one of the most heartbreaking family films of all-time, and a Missouri judge is hoping a little of that Disney magic goes a long way in getting a convicted poacher to clean up his act. Lawrence County Judge Robert George has sentenced David Berry Jr. to a year in jail for illegally killing deer (via CNN). Part of Berry’s sentence is that he must watch “Bambi” once a month for the duration of his imprisonment.

As additionally reported by the Springfield News-Leader, Berry must “view the Walt Disney movie ‘Bambi,’ with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.” Berry’s trial has been called one of Missouri’s largest cases of deer poaching. Berry would kill the deer and then take only their heads and antlers, leaving the remaining body to rot. Berry was arrested on August 31, 2016 alongside family members David Berry Sr. and Kyle Berry.

“Berry Jr.’s convictions are the tip of a long list of illegal fish and game activity by him and other members of his family,” Lawrence County Conservation Agent Andy Barnes told CNN in a statement. “It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years. It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally.”

“Bambi” is famous for featuring the tragic scene of Bambi’s mother being shot by a hunter. The film, released by RKO Pictures in August 1942, was the fifth Disney animated feature film. “Bambi” was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in December 2011.

In addition to the poaching charges, Berry was also sentenced to 120 days in jail in a nearby county for a firearms probation violation.

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