Wildlife officials killed fawn and young elk

Wildlife officials killed fawn and young elk for being ‘too tame’

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Young animals who were residing at a Washington state wildlife rehabilitation and rescue organization were seized and then killed by wildlife officials who determined that they were “too tame.” According to KOMO News, a young elk and three deer fawns were taken from the For Heaven’s Sake Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation center in Thurston County last week.

Officers with the Department of Fish and Wildlife claim that the animals seized from the organization were too tame and needed to be put down.  Eric Gardner, head of the state Wildlife Program, stated:

“This is a tough situation for everyone involved. The department licenses wildlife rehabilitators to prepare sick, injured and orphaned animals for release back into the wild, but those animals have virtually no chance of surviving if they become habituated to humans.”

Wildlife managers are told to put down “habituated animals,” rather than to release them into the wild, because of state laws and regulations. Gardner cited the fawns’ behavior as evidence that the animals were “habituated” to people:

“As soon as the two staff members entered the enclosure the fawns came right up to them and started nuzzling them for food.”

The rescue and rehabilitation organization commented on the heartbreaking situation on Monday, telling its Facebook followers:

These photos were taken on Thursday when Fish & Wildlife showed up unannounced to try to get all the fawn and the elk. The elk was lured with an apple and one little fawn approached. The others could not be caught because they wouldn’t allow anyone to get near them and they ran. The accusation is that they are too habituated. They had only been weaned from taking bottles for two weeks.

The organization commented specifically on the young elk which was seized and killed by wildlife officials:

The elk was still, technically, a baby. When the people brought her here, she was friendly before we got her (people had been petting her and stuff) so it became our job to make her wild again so, naturally it takes longer if people have already made the process more difficult. She would have been fine and we would have introduced her into an elk herd. We already had a herd picked out for her.

Followers of the rehabilitation organization are outraged over what happened – and disgusted by the actions of the state wildlife officials. Especially because the fate of the remaining fawn has not yet been determined…wildlife officials may put them down as well.

Have something to say about this situation? Voice your concerns to: Jim Unsworth, director of Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, at: director@dfw.wa.gov

(Image via Facebook)

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18 replies
  1. ellen cottone says:

    and enjoyed every min. of it even though there were a 100 cheep humain, logical merciful alternatives. keep your cautionary baloney excuses. enjoy your dear stew, you animals

  2. Diana Roby says:

    Thanks for the phone number. I have something to say, boy do I, but I will wait till I can be civil and as polite as I can be after reading this.

  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    Another prime example of the inhumanity and stupidity of the Fish and Wildlife killing machine – why couldn’t these ‘too tame’ animals be sent to a sanctuary – NO-O-O – they must be killed – I cannot believe the actions of these government agencies who think they can just walk in and do whatever they want – this was a rehabilitation center who specializes in taking in needy animals and processes them for return to the wild – another action by an incompetent, ignorant and ruthless state agency.

  4. Luz Quiroz says:

    How about the “officials” do they get to be put down for being cruel and disgusting I hope so!. This is supposedly a rehabilitation center isn’t? This is not the first time I hear about such thing like this one. They always take the shortcut. Decisions like this one are shameful, cruel and ignorant.

  5. vicki hood says:

    Shame. Lost every shred of respect for Fish and wildlife. Killing babies is a natural for them. Lets all write to congressmen, senators, commissioners, mayors and demand F and W’s be removed from service and a new organization be formed from the ground up. I already wrote to Pete DeFazio. He is a good man. F and W really suck. They are dangerous and greedy. Check their salary. You and I pay it. Murdered babies, I am so sorry these evil scum inhabit this earth.

  6. Helen says:

    Disgusting practice. Babies have no concept of fear, they have to be taught to fear humans. I think the rehab. center would have taught the fawns and baby elk to live in the wild. It has been done with other animals, such as chimps and big cats. To kill these babies because they are too tame is beyond absurdity. Shameful!

  7. Sally Sorensen says:

    I’m outraged. These animals should have been sent to a sanctuary NOT KILLED!!!
    Shame on you Fish & Wildlife for not upholding your duty to protect these innocents!!

  8. Adrienne says:

    Stupid Dept. of Fish & Wildlife for not talking to and understanding what the Wildlife Rehabilitation was telling them about these young fawns and elk. They’ve had animals like this before and have successfully rehabilitated them into existing herds. I hope the news picks up on these gun happy State workers murdered animals they are suppose to protect. State of Washington need to address what these gun happy workers have done to the lives of these young animals.

  9. willie hines says:

    These three smiling hunters surely enjoyed the kill . Enjoy the deer steaks . No reason they had to kill babies oh you havent heard of sanctuarys ..

  10. Pamela Bolton says:

    Fish and wildlife are a joke. They are nothing but a sanctioned government murder squad. I despise everyone of them. They won’t be satisfied till all animals are gone. Deer, wolves ,horses , bison ….THEY DONT CARE. It’s just an excuse to kill. This agency should be closed because they don’t do anything but kill. There is no protection about them. Shame on the whole bunch.


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