Real-life Bambi shot dead in front of adopted community

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew

Little Bambi loved sweet tea. He loved to frolic with the children of Windy Bay, the Manitoba Hutterite colony that adopted the abandoned fawn. He even followed a crowd into church one Sunday, much to the community's delight.

And then, one day, conservation officers came to town and shot Bambi dead, the Brandon Sun reports. It happened just yards from homes as families watched.

"It isn't always a Disney-type outcome," Jack Harrigan, Manitoba's director of conservation compliance, told the newspaper.

Some residents told the newspaper that they watched in horror as the deer was killed just yards away.

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According to the Sun, the deer was abandoned by its mother and found by a member of the community. They raised him, naming him Bambi in a cruel twist.

But when the deer got older, it grew small button horns and some residents became concerned.

Manitoba Conservation was contacted, but instead of taking Bambi to a sanctuary, they shot it. Officials explained that the deer was too familiar with people to remain in the wild.

The problem with raising wild animals is that they grow up. Last year in Manitoba, a small black bear cub was seized from a home where it was being raised.

In Toronto, a macaque monkey found wandering an Ikea parking lot in a shearling coat was captured by animal control officers.

The bear was taken to a sanctuary. The monkey, Darwin, also remains at a sanctuary pending the results a custody battle launch by its former owner.

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But that is not always how it goes. The Canadian Press reported earlier this year that a B.C. woman successfully fought to keep her pet deer, Bimbo, after armed conservation officers came to her home to remove the animal.

Support rallied around Janet Schwartz until the government conceded that she could keep her domesticated deer with the help of a veterinarian and conservation officers.

At last report, Bimbo had become pregnant, with help from a friend’s buck, and Schwartz was trying to decide what they would do with the fawn.

That is a Disney-style outcome. But that is not always how it goes. Members of the Windy Bay Colony learned that when their domesticated deer was shot in front on them.