GARRETT COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A 34-year-old Garrett County man was charged with holding a fawn captive inside his home and then releasing it back into the wild.

Maryland Natural Resources Police learned Gary Suder was keep a fawn inside his home in early June. Suder was given a lawful order not the released the deer back into the wild and was given 45 days to either transport the deer to a licensed rehabilitator or turn it over the Department of Natural Resources.

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On Aug. 1, arrangements were made to take the fawn to a wildlife sanctuary. But when officers returned to Suder’s home, they found the deer wasn’t there and its cage was open.

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Suder told authorities he released the deer back into the wild against police instructions. He was charged with failing to obtain a permit before possessing wildlife, failing to get a captive wildlife license or permit, and failing to comply with a lawful order.

NRP says that although fawns are adorable and appear to be approachable, they eventually grow up. Captive-raised deer are a catalyst for diseases that could potentially impact people and other livestock.

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Removing a deer from the wild and keeping it captive is illegal in Maryland.

CBS Baltimore Staff