Selasa, Jun 04, 2013

'It would be like losing a child': Michigan couple fight to keep the pet deer they saved from near death

Five years ago, a female deer was hit outside of a Michigan couple's home in Genesee County.  The deer suddenly went into labor and gave birth to twins.

One of the twins died, but the other survived. Not knowing what to do with the near-dead baby, the couple, who would like to remain anonymous, asked the responding police officer if they could try and nurse it back to health.

'Go ahead. She won't last 15 minutes but give it a try.'

Miraculously, after bottle feeding the fawn goat milk, and sleeping with the new-born for two weeks, the baby deer survived.

They named her Lilly, and she became just another member of the family. She sleeps on a futon, watches animal planet, likes to sleep in and nap with the cats, while also enjoying a game of Frisbee in the back yard.  

But after receiving a complaint, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is threatening to take Lilly away from the only family she's ever known.
The couple's neighbors have always been fine with Lilly living with them, but when new neighbors moved in and invited friends over, one of their guests reported Lilly to the DNR.

The couple returned home to find a note on their door, warning them that keeping the deer was illegal. Now the DNR plans on taking the deer away. If Lilly fails to rehabilitate, they will put her down.

It’s illegal to keep a wild animal in the state of Michigan, something that the couple did not know. However, since Lilly was raised in their home, and only knows domesticated like, they feel that an exception should be made.
‘We thought we were helping her – saving her life. And we did,’ one of Lilly’s owners told a WNEM reporter. ‘I think there’s exceptions to the rules. Sometimes love should be enough.’

The couple have retained a lawyer to help fight the DNR from taking Lilly away from them. Lilly’s human mother says that the lawyer is coming up with a different strategy to save Lilly.

Miracle fawn: Lilly was born on the side of the road after her mother was hit by a car. A Michigan couple nursed her to health and has kept her as a pet ever since

Outdoor doe: Lilly enjoys playing frisbee in the backyard with the couple's two dogs

Nap time: Apparently, Lilly can be quite lazy. According to her owner it takes a bit prodding to get her off the futon in the morning

Birthday girl: Like any house pet, Lilly celebrates her birthday every year - complete with festive hats

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