SOAP LAKE - Authorities in Soap Lake are putting the public on notice about what not to do if you cross paths with a helpless wild animal that appears to be in distress.
On Wednesday, Soap Lake Police Chief Ryan Cox says a Soap Lake man found a baby deer in some tall grass outside of town and thought it was in distress due to the heat and mom nowhere in sight.
Cox says the man brought it to his apartment where he and his family attempted to care for it. Later in the day, the man notified police of the situation and Fish and Wildlife was summoned to handle the animal.
Fish and Wildlife published a message telling people to not take in wild animals that appear to be in distress. If you do think a wild animal is in trouble, call Fish and Wildlife and do not take matters into your own hands.
As a result of the man’s noble, but futile effort to help the fawn, Fish and Wildlife says its chances for survival have diminished as the mother will likely not take it back.
The fawn was returned to where it was found; officials say it’s the baby's best chance for survival at this point.
Police and WDFW say taking in a wild animal without notifying the proper authorities is illegal and considered to be a misdemeanor.
The man was not charged for the crime as authorities believe his intent was to help, not hurt the creature.