By DAVID RAINER
The discovery of a fawn or baby wild animal by itself may leave people compelled to take action. At the time, picking up the wild animal in an attempt to “rescue” it might seem the right thing to do. Almost without fail, that is the worst course of action. Wild animals in captivity do not fare well.
A recent incident in Cleburne County illustrates this point exactly. A buck that had been picked up as a fawn was in a backyard enclosure. The family’s 12-year-old son, who considered the buck his personal pet, went into the enclosure and ended up in the hospital with serious puncture wounds from the deer’s antlers.
Holding live protected wildlife in captivity has been prohibited by regulation for many years, but prior to 2002, there was a provision for issuing permits on a case-by-case basis. As the number of animals in captivity grew, so did the problems.
Kevin Dodd, Assistant Chief in the Enforcement Section of the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF), said this kind of attack is what led to a regulation change in 2002, when the division stopped issuing captive wildlife permits to individuals.