“May” the orphaned deer seized, but will return to family

May and Brigitte Thomas
Brigitte Thomas and May the deer that she adopted into her family with her husband. Photo courtesy of CBC.ca

When a mother deer was killed by a car four years ago in Quebec, her fawn was left to fend for itself. Enter Brigitte Thomas and her husband, the couple who saved the vulnerable deer by adopting the wild an animal and bringing it into their home—and hearts. They named her May for the month she was born. Recently, however, an anonymous tip brought wildlife officials to the couple’s home where they seized the deer since it’s illegal to keep wildlife pets in Quebec. An exception was made for May. About 23,000 people signed an online petition set up by Thomas to convince the government to let May go home and it appears to have worked. Wildlife officials visited the home a second time to ensure appropriate fencing and facilities were in place for the safety of the animal and May is expected to return to her adoptive family. Although Thomas and many others are pleased with the happy outcome, not everyone agrees with the ministry’s decision.

An article by cbc.ca states that executive director of the Ecomuseum Zoo in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, David Rodrigue, believes that having May return home is sending the wrong message. He says that wildlife regulations serve an important purpose and that “white-tailed deer are not pets and they shouldn’t be.” He also says that deer and fawns die in the wild and it’s a natural process, part of the ecosystem and we shouldn’t let our emotions drive our decision-making. That said, it’s important to note that once a wild animal has lived with humans in a domesticated fashion it cannot be released back into the wild.

What do you think?

May as a fawn in 2012

The orphaned deer in 2012 when she was adopted by Thomas. Photo courtesy of cbc.ca.

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