Arizona GFD Takes Possession of Newborn Fawn “Kidnapped” from Wild

Kidnapped Arizona Fawn
Kidnapped Arizona Fawn

Arizona Game and Fish DepartmentPHOENIX, Ariz. -( An approximately three-day-old deer fawn “kidnapped” from the wild near Salome will now be forced to a life in captivity.

On Saturday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department took possession of the days-old fawn after learning an unknown man took it from the wild, then stopped off at the local bar to show the patrons. A short time later, AZGFD was notified and took possession of the fawn.

“This truly is an unfortunate situation for this deer fawn. Instead of living a life in the wild, it must now remain in captivity due to the irresponsible actions of one person,” said Mike Demlong, AZGFD Wildlife Education program manager. “The fawn is healthy, but requires feeding every three to four hours, which is time consuming and costly in the long run. The Department will keep the fawn for a few days to ensure it is healthy and feeding well, then it will be transferred to wildlife sanctuary in Arizona.”

The fawn will eventually be transferred to Keepers of the Wild Nature Park near Kingman.

The public is also invited to help name the fawn by visiting the AZGFD Facebook page by leaving a comment or on Instagram @azgfd.

To help defray rising costs of caring for Arizona’s wildlife, AZGFD recently began its “Be a Hero for Wildlife” donation campaign to give the public an opportunity to support its efforts to treat sick, injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife by texting CRITTER to 41444 from any smartphone.

“Unfortunately, the department does not any receive state general fund dollars, including funds to provide long-term care for captive wildlife. That’s what makes donations that much more important,” Demlong said.

Funding raised through the “Be a hero for Wildlife” text-campaign will be used to care for the sick, injured, orphaned and confiscated animals housed at the Wildlife Center, in addition to the many nonreleaseable animal ambassadors – such as a great-horned owl, golden eagle, desert tortoises and prairie dogs – that are used in educational outreach statewide.

In addition to donations, the public can also help keep wildlife wild by leaving baby wildlife alone. Young wildlife is rarely abandoned so there is often little reason to “rescue it.” One or both of its parents is likely nearby searching for food and will return.

Baby birds and bunnies are the most common wildlife species misguidedly removed from the wild by the public. Young birds that have fallen from the nest can be placed back in the nest or as close as possible. Baby birds that are partially flighted should be left alone or moved nearby out of harm’s way.

Those with questions about a specific situation should contact one of the Department’s licensed wildlife rehabilitators listed on the department’s website or contact your local Game and Fish office.​​​​​​​

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I know a guy in Montana that is always talking/bragging about the fox family that comes to his back porch almost every day during the winter to eat Old Roy dog food he puts out for it. They are so tame now that they will come up on the porch and wait for him to put the food out. He also has black bear and the occasional coyote come around and eat dry dog food. I have thought many times about reporting him but I don’t know that it would do any good.


Hope they locate this unsub and prosecute to the full extent of the law to help offset the cost to take care of the fawn.

Wa;yne Roberts

Deer have been released back into the wild many times. Human contact has to be limited. I once saved a fawn from dogs that had killed it’s sibling and had this one trying to kill it. When I called animal recue they wanted to fuss at me for taking the fawn. If I had not removed it the dogs would have returned and killed it. No do not remove a fawn from a location if there is no danger to it, the mother is near by and will return. We don’t know why this person might have removed this fawn,… Read more »