Man Who Tried to Save Deer Now Faces Fine

John Stoll of Pennsylvania brought animal to garage after it fell through frozen lake
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2019 8:40 AM CST
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(Newser) – It's one of the more unusual wildlife fines you'll hear about: A man in Pennsylvania faces a penalty after he tried to save a deer's life. As the York Daily Record explains, John Stoll of Wellsville helped firefighters and wildlife personnel free deer that had fallen through ice on a lake in a state park. When one of the deer made it to shore, Stoll said he thought the animal was suffering, so he brought it home with him to his garage and covered it with blankets to warm it up. (See video here.) Stoll says he had no idea this was technically against the law. "Nobody said I shouldn't take it," he says. Despite the rescue attempt, the deer died after about 12 hours, and Stoll buried it in his yard. State wildlife officials then informed Stoll, whose videos had begun gaining popularity online, that he faced two fines, one of which is $800.

Stoll, who is a hunter, tells the York Dispatch that he just wanted to give the deer a shot at survival. He said wildlife authorities were going to euthanize the animal or just leave it alone. “I said, 'Why did we even spend the effort to get him out?'" State wildlife official Matthew Schnupp says people who intervene to save a wild animal will almost always make the situation worse by putting the animal under "significant stress." He said Stoll should have left the deer where it was to let officials from the state game commission assess it. So far, no fine has been been officially levied. (Boasting about illegal kills is not advisable on dating apps.)

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