Deer confiscated from Raleigh family

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A whitetail deer was confiscated from a Raleigh family. Wildlife experts say the case is an example of how someone with good intentions can actually cause more harm than good.

A North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officer went to a home off Poole Road earlier this spring after someone tipped off police that the family was keeping a deer at their home.

Members of the family didn't want to talk about the incident but a neighbor who knows them said they never intended to cause harm to the animal.

"The deer was injured when it was small and it came up behind their house," Jay Jeffreys told ABC11. "I think they tried to bandage the leg and so forth. They had a pen and the door was open and they just put it in there to let it heal up."

The Wildlife Resources Commission is trying to educate people about avoiding direct contact with whitetail deer.

Getting close to a deer can be the thrill of a lifetime and it's happening more often these days, even in the back yards of suburbia. However, once a deer is domesticated they have a hard time surviving in the wild.

Domestication can happen quickly as Jeffreys pointed out.

"It was not locked up," he said. "They tried to get it to leave but it wouldn't leave... then all of sudden it just stayed there like a pet almost."

Despite the fact that no one was charged, the wild deer had to be confiscated because the family didn't have a permit to own the animal.

Since the deer had been domesticated, it wasn't suited to return to the wild and had to be put down.

Wildlife experts say it's best to avoid direct contact with deer. If you find one that is injured there are licensed rehab experts that can help the deer recover and return to the wild.

Information on how to deal with deer in the wild and a list of wildlife rehabilitators in your area can be found here.
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