Justin Hoffman

Fawn Killed by Detroit Metroparks' Mower Ignites Fiery Facebook Debate

A disturbing image of a fawnand how the mowing accident happenedhas critics divided.

A photo making the rounds on the Internet, which shows the lifeless body of a young whitetail fawn, has caused outrage on Facebook and charges of wildlife abuse from advocate groups. The fawn died after being run over by a Detroit Metroparks' mower as it lay hidden in the long grass at Stony Creek.

A Facebook post by Annie Grobbel Mager on May 30 ignited the backlash:


Magers was joined in protest by many who accused Metropark of animal cruelty. Groups such as 'Animal Abusers Exposed' also voiced strong opinions about the incident on Facebook pages. One issue of contention is that certain areas of the park had not been mowed in previous years, which changed in the fall.

Not all are sympathetic to the outrage. Many people have shown support for the mowing of Metropark land, stating that it's necessary to combat ticks and mosquito infestation. Some also believe the deer population is excessive in these wildlife areas.

Metropark Director George Phifer called the fawn death "an unfortunate accident." He said that grass mowing is a necessary part of the park's care, and added, "We will make sure there's a balance between protecting wildlife and managing our park resources for recreation purposes."

"I met with staff today about it. We are looking for new methods we can use to minimize damage to the wildlife."

Phifer also stated that his office has received phone calls about the fawn.

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