Photos show campers holding fawn; DWR officials concerned

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 00:15:40-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Photos online of a baby deer being coddled by campers has raised concerned on social media and for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

The picture causing concern is of a woman holding whitetail fawn that she tucked into her jacket.

DWR spokesman Mark Hadley said this is exactly what those venturing into the outdoors shouldn’t do when they spot a baby critter.

“They come across an animal in the wild and they think it has been abandoned and they think they’re doing the animal a favor,” Hadley said.

According to Hadley, deer leave can leave a baby for hours at a time in a hidden spot to protect the fawn from predators.

“In almost every single case that fawn has not been abandoned by its mother,” Hadley said.

The best thing for wildlife watchers to do, is to simply look, don't touch. But these campers posted to Facebook, their first problem? They got too close.

Pictures show the group then took the fawn back to their campsite.

Removing a fawn from its spot, Hadley said, makes it so the deer cannot find her baby and decreases the animal’s chance of survival.

Not only is it the wrong thing to do but it’s against the law. You have to have a permit to handle protected wildlife.

“As soon as you touch a wildlife animal it’s considered in your possession and you are in violation of that point,” Hadley said.

If you are caught it is a misdemeanor, if you see someone getting too close to the animals DWR encourages you to contact local law enforcement and they will dispatch a wildlife officer.