TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The three-week old fawn, who was born by emergency cesarean section and ended up in the middle of a controversy about housing wild animals, is missing.
Toledo police officer Mark Fry came upon an injured, pregnant deer in the road and performed the C-section. He did CPR on the fawn, took it home and named it Norman. Fry was then investigated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, who told him to hand over the deer or face stiff fines or even jail time for housing a wild animal.
On Wednesday night, Fry and his wife, Darla, said they could not find a rescue group to take Norman. They also refused to say where the deer was over fears it would be euthanized.
Then they changed their mind. "We decided it wasn't worth risking Mark's job, so we had them bring the fawn back and we stuck him on the back porch," said Darla.
Thursday morning, they said the deer was gone. The Fry's don't know if the young buck broke free and jumped the fence or squeezed out the gap in a gate. They also say it's possible someone decided they needed to rescue him. "We have no idea where he's at now," Darla said.
A spokesperson for the Division of Wildlife says it's still investigating this case. They remind Ohioans it's illegal to keep wild animals like deer, racoons or wild rabbits as pets. The biggest fear is that some deer carry chronic wasting disease, which can kill entire deer populations.
Darla is more concerned about the welfare of one deer -- Norman. "I just hope wherever he is, that he's safe and that he's strong enough to make it on his own now."