DNR: Stop taking fawns out of the wild

If you find a fawn in the wild, give it plenty of space. Its mother hid it where you found it. She knows where it is. (Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(KUTV) -- Have you ever been out in the wilderness, seen a deer fawn, noticed it was all alone and wanted to bring it home?

Division of Wildlife Resources tells 2News its officers have been dealing with an unusual amount of people doing just that.

Officer Joshua Carver said Thursday that he typically deals with a few per year, but he is now averaging about five cases annually, which he says is too many.

“It's been big enough that our agency’s had to actually put some information out there,” Carver said.

The Department of Natural Resources says there is an increase of people illegally removing deer fawns from the wild.

One reason identified by the federal agencies that many people are taking these animals home is because they think the fawns have been abandoned by their mother or are hurt.

But Carver said what is likely to be happening is that the mother deer has drawn off predators, making it seem like the fawn has been left behind.

“They're not injured. They're just doing what nature taught them to do, to lay still and not move, draw the predator away and those spots are supposed to mimic flowers,” Carver said.

When fawns are taken from their habitat, a number of problems may occur including death to the baby deer.

“I’m not saying the mom will completely disown them because of the human odor but she may be frightened of the odor and might not come back. Two, it displaces them. Deer are habitual animals," Carver said.

Another detriment to fawn removal is being human-fed may disrupt their ability to feed themselves once released back into the wild.

There’s also a chance the deer that has constant human contact could spread unknown diseases to other wildlife.

“There's a lot of factors that come into play and at that point in really forced to put the thing down or somehow figure out where it came from,” Carver said.

Click here for what DWR says you should do if you find a fawn.

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