From baby bears to baby deer, current stories of humans taking wild animals from their natural habitat, have wildlife officials concerned.
Oregon-based hiker, Corey Hancock, made national news after discovering a bear cub in distress and taking it to find help, which saved its life. Corey was named a hero for saving the baby bear’s life and this story had a happy ending.
Many of these stories are of people finding a baby wild animal in a hike or on the side of the road and keeping them as a pet, which is illegal in most states in the U.S.
Last week, the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Department reported information about a fawn that they recovered which was apparently being kept as a pet.
According to azcentral.com, the Arizona Fish And Game Department released an official statement that state wildlife managers had seized the baby deer during a traffic stop; arresting one of two people in the car for outstanding warrants.
New Mexico Wildlife Magazine
Officials discovered the animal after following up on a tip that “a fawn was being kept inside of a single-wide trailer northwest of Phoenix with three dogs.”
According to the statement, the “kidnapped” fawn was confiscated and transferred to a department wildlife center in Phoenix where it is now being treated by a local veterinarian.
“Because of the irresponsible actions of one or more individuals, this deer fawn is now reliant on humans for its survival,” Mike Demlong, the department’s Wildlife Education program manager, said in the statement. “While their actions may have been well intentioned, in reality they have doomed this fawn to a life in captivity. Although some baby wildlife may appear to have been abandoned, its mother likely ‘parked’ the fawn in one location while they foraged for food and water. The best choice would have been to leave the fawn alone and to walk away.”
It is common for mothers to leave their fawn alone in the early weeks of their lives for their safety because they have a protective coloration, which better shields them from predators.
Wide Open Spaces
“It’s important for everyone to realize that deer do not abandon their young. Fawns, like many other wild animal babies, are frequently hidden and left alone for hours by their mothers while they forage for food,” states wildliferehab.org. “For the first couple of weeks, these babies generally nap while waiting for their mothers to return. They lay very still so as not to attract predators and are frequently mistaken for being in distress or abandoned. If roaming about, they may appear to be weak and stumbling when they are newly born. Their mothers are usually within visual range, and can always hear if their baby cries out.
Once the fawn is healthy enough, it will sadly be transported to a Arizona zoo, but Fish And Game officials warned that in many cases, such as this, the displaced animal is often euthanized because of lack of space in zoos and sanctuaries.
“Centers become inundated each year with birds, rabbits and other wildlife that are taken from the wild unnecessarily,” according to the department which urged members of the public who find a wild animal in distress, or if there is “strong evidence” that its mother is dead, to leave the animal alone and contact the proper authorities.
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