Oh Deer! Michigan DNR Investigating Saginaw Woman Trying to Keep Deer
We should all strive to help nature a little more. Little things like cleaning up our trash, reducing chemicals in the ground, water, and air, and genuinely helping animals when we can.
A woman in Saginaw County was attempting to do just that with a fawn she rescued, but now the DNR says she can't help anymore, and it has to be returned to the wild, where it likely will not survive.
Ronda Mau helps rehabilitate fawns in Michigan, and has been working with the Michigan DNR for years to do so. Up until now, things were simple. She would take them in, help them build up their strength, and then return them to the wild.
But then came Zoey. Mau says her mother was hit by a car, and somehow ended up in her driveway a year ago.
"She cannot fend for herself. She get a big bowl of fruit every single day. She gets deer food. She gets cereal."
Mau thought her license with the United States Department of Agriculture gave her the right to care for, and exhibit Zoey, who she says has now become a therapy animal for people in the area.
"Kids come over and it just took off. They learn patience, they learn patience, they learn to cope with everyday life, basically, it gets them away from the situation they are in."
At the moment, Mau has two fawns in her care at this time, but when a DNR officer saw Zoey in its own enclosure, they informed Mau she was getting too big, and had to be released. The Michigan DNR doesn't allow wild animals to be domesticated because they could become dangerous, and spread diseases, and issued the following statement...
"We have received reports of an illegally held deer at a rehabilitation center located in Brant Township, Saginaw County. We are currently gathering relevant information to assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action.
White-tailed deer are wild animals that can behave unpredictably. They should never be treated as pets and should be held in captivity only by those with appropriate licenses to do so. We understand the public's concern regarding the issue. This is an ongoing investigation, and we will provide additional information when it becomes available."
Mau has said she plans on getting touch with an attorney to see if there is a way she can save Zoey.
"I could not send her to a zoo. If she's gone, I can't feed her. She will die. If (the DNR officer) sees her here at all, if she comes near my barn or anything, he says he will dispose of her. I have no option."
Mau runs a retreat called Zoey's Deer Haven Spiritual Retreat in Marion Springs. On her website, she describes the retreat as "A Deer Haven you can interact with fawns and deer. For emotional support and spiritual training through meditation. To begin your journey to a happier and healthier wellbeing."