A number of fallow and Sika deer escaped from a Delhi enclosure, and state officials have asked hunters to kill them.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said the caretakers of High Delta Exotics reported that as many as 14 fallow deer and an unknown number of Sika deer slipped through a breech in the facility's containment fence.

Officials are worried the deer could transmit disease to the native whitetail population, and are asking hunters to help harvest the animals so they can be tested.

Licensed hunters holding big-game hunting permits may harvest Fallow and Sika deer without limit in the area of Delhi, La., within legal shooting hours.

Hunters must then contact their regional DWF office as soon as possible so biological samples can be obtained from the animals. The animals may be field dressed to prevent spoilage of the meat. However, hunters are asked to keep the carcass of any harvested animal, including the head, refrigerated but not frozen until a DWF biologist collects a sample.

Hunters will be allowed to keep the remainder of the carcasses, including the antlers.

Sika deer are native to east Asian, and usually have a darker toned hide than white-tailed deer. The only weigh a maximum of about 100 pounds when fully mature. The bucks have small, elk-like antlers.

Fallow deer are Persian-European in origin and exhibit variations in hide coloration from white to spotted, similar to a whitetail fawn. The male Fallow's antler formation is similar to a caribou.

The Monroe regional LDWF office can be reached at 318-343-4044 to report a harvested exotic deer or for more information.