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Oct 25, 2013 8:43 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Homeowner upset over Game and Fish response to fawn attack

TUCSON- As a desert dweller, Karen Bright sees her fair share of wildlife.

"I know there are animals that attack other animals," Bright says.

But Friday morning, she saw an attack in her own backyard that she will never forget. Bright says a group of coyotes attacked a fawn. "It was heartbreaking," Bright says. "It just wanted help, it wanted its mom."

Bright and a few of her neighbors called the Tucson Wildlife Center, but employees said they weren't authorized to remove the fawn, without permission from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

So Bright called Game and Fish, thinking the department would stop by to get the fawn medical attention, or euthanize it to end its suffering.

But Game and Fish didn't show up until about six hours after the attack. The fawn was already dead. "We try to give the animal the benefit of the doubt," says Joe Sacco of AZ Game and Fish. "If it isn't in such a state where it's injured and going to die soon, then we'd like to give it the chance to leave and let nature take its course."

Sacco says in this case the fawn never would have survived.

He also says if Bright and her neighbors hadn't intervened by trying to scare the coyotes away, the fawn wouldn't have suffered for so long. "Had the coyotes been allowed to come back and finish it, then it would have been much quicker than waiting for a person to come in and intervene," Sacco says.

The Tucson Wildlife Center agrees, but Executive Director Lisa Bates issued this statement to News 4 Tucson: "We need a better solution when this happens. We need quick response and humane euthanasia if rehabilitation is not an option."

"I think it should have been given a chance," Bright says.

Now she can't help but wonder if the fawn could have had that chance, if she had taken matters into her own hands. "I just feel like more could have been done today to keep everybody safe and maybe save an animal," Bright says. "I think that's the bottom line."

Sacco ended up taking the fawn to the Tucson Wildlife Center. He says the meat may be used there to help rehabilitate other species.


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