Man saves fawn -- Pennsylvania game commission kills it
- A New Oxford man thought he was saving a fawn when he scooped it up off a
road in Maryland and took it home to nurse it back to health after its
mother was hit by a car.
William Albert bottle-fed the fawn in his 218 Reba Drive garage and called
around to see if any wildlife-rehabilitation centers would take the baby
Albert also called the Pennsylvania Game Commission to help him find a place
to send the deer, but when a wildlife officer showed up at his house a short
while later, he took the deer and had it killed.
Now, Albert says the officer - who arrived at the house before Albert did,
just 10 minutes after Albert called - was on his property without his
permission or a warrant, and the deer definitely shouldn't have been
Albert said he met with a lawyer to discuss what claims, if any, he had
against the officer, whom Albert said came onto his property after being let
in by Albert's 13-year-old daughter Amber.
The fawn was destroyed later that day, after Albert received a call that a
farm two hours away in Maryland would take the fawn.
Albert works in Maryland and said he rescued the fawn after one of his
employees found it beside his garage. The deer's mother had been hit by a
Albert said the fawn lay beside the garage for nearly an entire day and was
unable to walk much, so he volunteered to bring the deer home and try to
Salespeople at Tractor Supply Co. suggested a formula Albert could feed to
the deer, and it started taking it from a bottle. It was eating well, Albert
said, and it became strong and looked very healthy.
When the officer arrived at Albert's house before Albert did, he called
Albert and said he wouldn't tell the children the deer would be killed. But
Albert said Amber overheard the conversation and cried for almost five
His 7-year-old daughter Savannah asks every day if the deer is coming back,
but Albert said he doesn't want to tell her what really happened.
Because of the he-said, she-said situation, Albert said his attorney advised
him to write a letter of complaint to the game commission and let them
investigate the situation.
After the investigation is closed, Albert should come back to him to
consider possible claims against the officer, his attorney advised.
Jerry Feaser, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said if
a wild animal has been out of the wild for more than a few hours, it's the
commission's policy to kill it.
A reputable deer farm wouldn't have taken the deer anyway, Feaser said,
because the dealer wouldn't have any assurance the deer was healthy, and
afflictions like chronic wasting disease can spread to all other animals and
kill them, he added.
Acknowledging that it sounded unsympathetic, Feaser said if the animal was
left alone and was attacked by a predator, it was nature's course.
"Nature wastes nothing," Feaser said. "That's just the way it works.
"When humans interfere, regardless of how well-meaning and well-intentioned
they are, they're disrupting nature's cycle," he said.
Feaser said Albert was breaking state law when he brought the deer in, and
he could have been fined up to $1,500.
"The bottom line is you're not allowed to take wildlife out of the wild,"
The fact that Albert brought the deer from Maryland to New Oxford is a
federal offense, Feaser added. The officer didn't issue any citations
because he determined Albert had good intentions bringing the animal home to
nurture, Feaser said.
Besides being illegal, Feaser said it's not a good idea to bring wild
animals home because they might have ticks, parasites or other diseases that
can infect everyone in the house.
He added that people who see a fawn in the wild without its mother impose
their "human parental behavior" on the animals.
"The fact of the matter is we were called about an issue and we responded,"
Contact Katharine Harmon at kharmon@....
And let Murder, Inc, (the Pennsylvania Game Commission) know what you think:
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:45 PM
Same story every year in PA: kind-hearted person finds orphan deer and makes
the fatal mistake of turning to the Game Commission for help.
Submit letters (via online from): http://www.eveningsun.com/lettersubmit or
to the editor in chief: mcharisse@...
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