Ohio officer investigated after deer rescue - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ohio officer investigated after deer rescue

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities are investigating an Ohio police sergeant for taking home a fawn he and two other men delivered and revived after its pregnant mother was hit by a car.

Sgt. Mark Fry and his wife nursed the newborn white-tailed deer named Norman with goat's milk following the May delivery. He later sent it to a farm. He said he brought the deer back to his Springfield Township home Wednesday after authorities visited and planned to turn it over on Thursday, but that it escaped from his screened-in porch overnight.

 Fry remains under investigation for misdemeanor possession and rehabilitation of a white-tailed deer. Ohio bans the rehabilitation of wild deer and coyote, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

 "It hurts," Fry said. "You try to do something good and this is how you get paid back for it."

State wildlife officer supervisor Kevin Newsome of the Ohio DNR said concerns include the spread of disease. Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre opposes any prosecution. "It doesn't seem like common sense is prevailing," he said.

 Fry, an off-duty University of Toledo officer and a park ranger rescued the fawn the injured deer. The ranger euthanized the mother with a gunshot before the campus officer cut open the dead deer's abdomen and found two fawns. One was dead. Fry revived the second fawn by breathed into its snout and giving it chest massages.

 A volunteer from the nonprofit Nature's Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Education was unable to take the animal because of the Ohio law preventing the rehabilitation of wild deer, said Center Director Laura Zitzelberger. He said he intended to keep the deer only until he could find it a safe place. "My intent was never to keep this deer. It was never my thought to try to bring that thing home and raise it," Fry said. "It's just ludicrous."

Fry was given a "One Can Make a Difference" award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for his actions. But Fry violated at least two sections of an Ohio law meant to protect wildlife, Newsome said. "The concern is where the deer was. A deer taken from the wild cannot be possessed by anybody in the state of Ohio," he said. "We needed to look into the situation and get some questions answered."

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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