COLORADO SPRINGS– Concerned citizens are worried that a painful and slow death may be imminent for a shackled fawn in Cedar Heights.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have been notified of a fawn outgrowing a tight metal clamp bolted to its ankle. According to the complaint one homeowner sent to FOX21, a fawn has been seen hobbling and limping around the neighborhood some days and evenings. She said there is growing concern that the clamp will become increasingly restrictive, further cutting off blood supply and potentially causing immobility as the fawn grows.

Tim Kroening, CPW’s Area Wildlife Manager, stated it is standard and best practice to leave the animal alone, since the metal band has not hindered its mobility and can still eat and drink normally. Kroening also said that CPW receives similar cases year round, which usually end with the animal freeing themselves of comparable contraptions. Additionally, he said, tranquilizers would be required to sedate the animal and remove the shackle safely from its hooves. This process in itself may be extremely stressful for the fawn, according to Kroening, and would not guarantee further risk would not be imposed on the animal.

Frustrated with CPW policies, the Cedar Heights resident, Tania, who did not want to disclose her full name, sought advice from a Licensed Animal Rehabilitator. Brenda Miller has worked with Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue in Montrose for more than 12 years, after receiving her license in 1997. The nonprofit provides care for wildlife that is injured, orphaned or habituated for release back into appropriate habitats.

Miller said the shackled fawn should be freed as soon as possible. “This animal is in stress everyday, because it is in pain,” she said. “Eventually, it might get left behind because it can’t keep up with the herd.” Miller and her nonprofit say they are unable to intervene due to legal restrictions. She also noted the shackle may have been deliberately bolted onto the fawn by illegal poachers. Miller said CPW should investigate the case for possible animal abuse.

Still, Miller said she can’t be sure how the fawn’s hooves became shackled.

Both Miller and Tania adamantly voiced their opinion that CPW is not consistent in the way they deal with wildlife across the state. “We’ve seen wonderful success stories from CDPW before– they’ve removed tires, Christmas lights, trash cans, and other objects accidentally caught on deer. So why wont (sic) they take this shackled wild fawn seriously?” said Tania.

Bill Vogrin, CPW’s Public Information’s Officer, says the agency does its best to constantly educate and warn the public against placing hazardous objects such as holiday decorations, hammocks, and sports nets, to prevent injury to deer and other wildlife. “Animals get caught in string lights and nets which wrap around their necks and mouths,” he said. “They are trapped and they can’t see and they can’t eat. In those cases we do everything we can to free them.”

When asked about the shackled fawn, Vogrin reiterated the risks his department has associated with tranquilizing the animal. “Tranquilizers affect every deer differently and this can be hard on the animal,” he said. Vogrin claims it is not worth further endangering the fawn with unnecessary risks.

Another major issue stated by Vogrin would be the ability to locate the fawn at the exact time and place to remove the metal band. He said CPW struggles to allocate resources when more specifics are unknown.

Vogrin said if a resident called in about the fawn again, CPW would respond to the call if there were available officers.

CPW’s Colorado Springs office can be reached at 719-227-5200.