‘Leave it alone:’ Conservation officer charges Vernon man for carrying fawn
It’s common knowledge that, unless it’s absolutely necessary, humans shouldn’t help wildlife. One man in Vernon, however, didn’t seem to know that.
On Tuesday, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service issued a tweet, stating “An individual from Vernon was recently charged after taking possession of a fawn and carrying it around for over two hours. The fawn was released in the location it was found for the doe to retrieve it.”
“Leaving newborn deer alone is the best thing you can do for their survival,” the tweet said.
On Wednesday, B.C. Conservation Officer Tanner Beck told Global Okanagan video journalist Megan Turcato that the man was “walking around (with the fawn) like it was a dog, basically.”
According to Beck, “we got a call in the morning that an individual was there with a fawn walking through Polson Park, just carrying a fawn through Polson Park. So I went to go and try and find him, and the RCMP actually informed us that they had since found this individual and picked him up on other issues and had possession of the fawn in one of their cruisers.
“So I went and met with the RCMP and took possession of the fawn and met with the individual involved to get a location of where the fawn came from. Because if you can return that fawn back to where it was found, the mother will come retrieve it. So we got a description of exactly where this fawn came from. And I went it released it back to that location, hoping that the doe came and retrieved it.”
Beck said the man wasn’t “super co-operative with the details” as to why he picked up the fawn, but added he was an individual who was well-known to police.
READ MORE: Wildlife experts warn against ‘fawn-napping’
Beck said the fawn wasn’t picked up at Polson Park, but near downtown Vernon, then carried to Polson Park.
The man was charged under the Wildlife Act for unlawful possession of wildlife. He was ticketed for $345.
As to why fawns shouldn’t be picked up, Beck said doing so cuts down their chances of survival if they take it away from where the doe left it.
“Often, people will see a fawn that is laying there basically immobile and not moving, and they assume that it’s either abandoned or it’s sick or it’s injured. But when fawns are first born, they don’t have any sort of defense mechanisms, other than they don’t smell. Basically, they hide in tall grass or in tall bushes and mom goes and eats and does her thing for hours on end, then comes back to nurse and then goes eats again.
“They basically leave their fawn sitting there in one location and the fawn just basically plays dead; it just sits there and is quiet so the predators can’t find it. And people assume that it’s in distress when it’s not; it’s totally natural.”
Added Beck: “Leave it alone. It’s not in any distress. If you don’t see an obvious injury, like blood or anything like that, then it’s just being a natural fawn, doing the only thing it can do while mom is out foraging.”
Lastly, Beck said that when he returned the fawn, “there was deer in the area and “there was a lot of green space. I haven’t received any calls of a fawn roaming around lost, so I’m assuming and hoping that it all worked out.”
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