Fawns are cute, but they belong in the wild. That is the message the Arizona Game and Fish Department is trying to convey to the public.
The agency has recently received two baby deer that were taken from the wild by individuals who thought they were helping the animals.
Last Friday, two hikers found a fawn on Mount Lemmon, and left it with a local fire department. And, on July 26, a man left another fawn at a healthcare center in Tucson.
Mark Hart, a spokesman for Arizona Game and Fish, said it’s normal for mother deer to leave their young unattended.
“We are asking the public not to pick up (what appear to be) orphaned fawns, and bring them in from the wild...(contact us instead)," Hart said. "What the general public doesn’t understand is that (mother deer do) often leave their fawns alone for hours while they are out feeding, or they may leave them alone in the presence of a perceived threat to get the predator to come after them.”
Deer raised in captivity can’t be released back into the wild, Hart said. These mammals are a common species making them difficult to place in long-term care facilities, he said.
Hart said the two fawns the agency received are now in zoos, but he added that is not often the case.