Wednesday, January 19, 2005
By Mike Miller The Capital Times
Bambi has been granted a stay of execution pending the outcome of the case in which her current caretakers and the state Department of Natural Resources are fighting over her future.
A court hearing was scheduled for Tuesday to decide whether an injunction should be issued to prevent the DNR from either removing Bambi from the farm of Mike and Ilene Smith of rural Columbus or killing the doe, who is about 1 1/2 years old.
But attorney Gary A. Schmaus, who represents the Smiths, wrote to Dane County Circuit Judge John Albert that discussions between himself and Assistant Attorney General P. Philip Peterson had been fruitful and the parties "have reached a temporary resolution of the issues that would have been addressed in that matter, and as a result there is no necessity to have a hearing."
Bambi, as the Smiths' grandchildren named her, and her mother and sister were all apparently hit by a car. The mother died while Bambi and the other fawn survived and managed to crawl into an enclosure on a farm. That farmer called Ilene Smith, who tended to the two injured fawns. One of the fawns died; the other was named Bambi by the Smith grandchildren.
The DNR is adamant that new rules established in the wake of the discovery of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin make it impossible for the Smiths to keep the deer, while the Smiths say the animal has been with them for well over a year and is now a family pet.
Bambi enjoys life in a fenced enclosure she shares with a sheep named Curly.
The Smiths claim in their lawsuit that they complied with several suggestions by the DNR to make their possession of Bambi legal, and say the DNR has since said the deer would be killed or moved to a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center in Walworth County.
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