Wildlife officials euthanized a baby deer Saturday after someone who thought it was abandoned put the animal in their car and took it to the Humane Society, effectively signing its "death sentence."
Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said someone picked up a fawn in La Plata Canyon that was "dropped," a term for when a mother hides its young and goes to forage.
The individual, who Lewandowski said remains unknown, took the baby deer to the animal shelter in Durango "If anyone picks up a fawn, it's pretty much a death sentence for that animal," Lewandowski said. "Fawns can't be rehabilitated."
Lewandowski said the incident is just the latest, and the worst-case scenario, of people negligently interacting with wildlife.
On Sunday, he said people were attempting to take selfies with a fawn near the Smiley Building at 1309 East Third Ave., and someone even picked up the animal.
Fortunately, in that instance, Lewandowski said the spectators didn't move the fawn from its drop spot. Wildlife officers were able to clear the area, and eventually the fawn's mother came back.
"Also over the weekend, we had a report of people feeding deer near the fish hatchery," Lewandowski said. "Which, again, is another really stupid thing to do."
Lewandowski said wild animals are best left alone, and if someone has the urge to photograph it, take the photo and leave.
"This happens every year," he said. "People need to remember these are wild animals even though they live in town.
"These animals are fine by themselves. Just leave them alone."
If people are concerned about a fawn or any other wildlife, Lewandowski said to call Parks and Wildlife at 247-0855.