In Wisconsin, yet another example of the government’s overzealous attempts to punish citizens for good-faith interactions with wildlife, even if they’re saving said wildlife. This time, an armed raid to capture and euthanize a fawn at an animal shelter, which was on its way to a wildlife preserve. Government is just a word for things we do together, Bambi:
It was like a SWAT team,” shelter employee Ray Schulze said.
Two weeks ago, Schulze was working in the barn at the Society of St. Francis on the Kenosha-Illinois border when a swarm of squad cars arrived and officers unloaded with a search warrant.
“(There were) nine DNR agents and four deputy sheriffs, and they were all armed to the teeth,” Schulze said.
The focus of their search was a baby fawn brought there by an Illinois family worried she had been abandoned by her mother.
“When it made a little noise, it sounded like it was laughing,” Schulze said.
Schulze videotaped the fawn they named Giggles during the two weeks she was there. The Department of Natural Resources began investigating after two anonymous calls reporting a baby deer at the no-kill shelter.
The warden drafted an affidavit for the search warrant, complete with aerial photos in which he described getting himself into a position where he was able to see the fawn going in and out of the barn.
Agents told staff they came to seize the deer because Wisconsin law forbids the possession of wildlife.
So, they took the deer and killed it. Mercifully, I guess, the state has chosen not to press charges against this animal shelter for the horrible crime of trying to rehabilitate a deer abandoned by its mother in an animal shelter and transfer it to a wildlife preserve in Illinois, where wild deer are permitted by law. Apparently, if the shelter had had a state-issued permit for keeping a wild deer, everything would have been fine, which suggests keeping one is not inherently dangerous, despite that being the Department of Natural Resources’ justification for killing the fawn.
The representative of the animal shelter gave the government far too much credit:
“I was thinking in my mind they were going to take the deer and take it to a wildlife shelter, and here they come carrying the baby deer over their shoulder. She was in a body bag,” Schulze said. “I said, ‘Why did you do that?’ He said, ‘That’s our policy,’ and I said, ‘That’s one hell of a policy.'”
And a government spokesperson literally likened the raid to a drug bust:
“Could you have made a phone call before showing up, I mean, that’s a lot of resources,” WISN 12 News investigative reporter Colleen Henry asked.
“If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up,” Niemeyer said,
Previously, the government goes after those who try to save woodpeckers, eagles, save their families from bears, and the Kennedys are predictably treated with leniency after trying to save a sea turtle:
No bigs: Kennedy brothers violate Endangered Species Act rescuing sea turtle
Sigh: Indiana man faces possible jail time for nursing bald eagle back to health
Front-page photo credit to TinyApartmentCrafts on Flickr.