A baby deer has died after people picked it up wrongly assuming it had been abandoned.
However, in reality, the tiny fawn was just resting in a forest in La Plata mountains, southwest Colorado, when the two people came across it.
After presuming it had been left by its mum, they decided to take the baby away.
The couple were later told by Joe Lewandowski, the public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s southwest region, that mother deer often leave their babies alone for periods of time while they go to find food.
Hence, the couple’s efforts of goodwill had done more harm than anything else.
The pair of misguided ‘rescuers’ were apparently not aware of this when they put the fawn in their car and drove it 30 miles to a shelter run La Plata County Animal Humane Society.
Sadly The Humane Society doesn’t handle wildlife, and is not equipped to take care of a wild infant deer. Plus, because the baby had been taken so far away from home, there was no way of finding out where it was from or who its mother was.
Shelter staff contacted state wildlife officers who concluded that ‘the most humane thing to do was to euthanise it’.
‘Unfortunately, we had to euthanise this deer because turning it loose in the wild would be cruel, especially since we don’t know where it had been taken from or where its mother is,’ Lewandowski said.
‘The mother would have had the nutrition needed to nurture the deer and keep it alive, and we don’t have such nutritional products available.’
Sadly, this isn’t the first act of human error to cost an animal its life – just last week a baby seal died after a woman carried it home from the beach in a plastic bag. Plus, back in May, a bison calf at Yellowstone National Park had to be put down because some tourists loaded it into their car.
The moral from this story clearly is that if you believe an animal is in need of help, call a local wildlife sanctuary for advice before attempting to move it anywhere. Because, more often than not, your actions could prove to be fatal to that animal.
We can only hope that this will be the last case like this we see.