SALEM, Ore - Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon State Police removed two black-tailed deer from a family home in Molalla yesterday, and placed them in a secure facility under the care of licensed veterinarians.
“We want the best for these animals, and we empathize with the family that had clearly grown attached to the deer,” said ODFW Director Roy Elicker. “We are working toward a good outcome for the deer, because we share the family’s concern for them. Caring for wild animals is at the heart of everything we do, and we appreciate the concerns that so many people have expressed over these deer.”
Oregon State Police, working with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, took the deer because one was illegally taken from the wild and both were being held captive illegally.
According to standard procedure, veterinarians have begun assessing the animals’ overall health, testing them to determine whether they have diseases that may be harmful to other wildlife. After assessing their health, veterinarians and other wildlife experts will evaluate the deer’s ability to survive in the wild. If the deer can survive in the wild, the state will release them.
“These are, after all, wild animals,” Elicker added. “If they are able to survive in the wild, we owe them the opportunity to live in their natural environment, as Mother Nature intended.”
If one or both deer cannot survive in the wild, the department will do everything possible to locate a legal facility that has the skills and ability to care for the animals in captivity, Elicker explained.