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Don't Call Him George

Posted: May 19, 2016

You might want to hug him and pet him and squeeze him, but please don’t.
Photo Credit: JT Fleegle

Photo Credit: JT Fleegle

It's the cutest time of year!   Babies are popping up everywhere.  And they are oozing with more sweetness than a Disney movie (except baby birds - their cuteness factor is rather low given their dinosaur ancestors). With long wobbly legs, white spots, and a face every mother could love, fawns top the list.  

In fact, the crews have already caught 4 fawns!

So it is time for our annual PSA.  

People get all kinds of ideas when they see a seemingly helpless creature lying motionless on the ground.  Like bringing it home to love and care for themselves.

It's understandable why people might think that raising a fawn or any wild animal as a pet is a tempting and exciting idea. It’s also undeniable that this is a VERY BAD idea.  Like Hugo, Looney Tune’s abominable snowman, whose well-meaning love was thrust upon Daffy Duck, wild animals are not pet material! 

IF a wild animal makes it to adulthood under human care (the more likely outcome is death - check out what happened to this Yellowstone bison calf), they can become dangerous and very unpredictable. Stories about deer (bucks and does) that have been kept as pets attacking and injuring people make headlines annually.

Wild animals have evolved as independent, free-living beings. They have needs, instincts, and behaviors that are inseparably tied both to their appropriate habitat and to a free-living state. No matter how well designed a captive habitat may be, it can never replicate the freedom that wild deer seek. 

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First fawn capture of 2016 - Susquehannock State Forest

If you see those lovable, nervous eyes peering up from the grass, walk on!  If you have the overwhelming urge to mother something, get thee to the local shelter and adopt one of the millions of domestic pets that need a home.

So while the first fawn we captured is super cute, we won't be calling him George.

-Jeannine Fleegle
PGC Deer and Elk Section

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