EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A woman walking her dog on a wooded trail near her Black Forest home was attacked by a young buck deer on Friday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife believes the deer was illegally raised by a neighbor.
The woman suffered serious lacerations to the top of her head, her left cheek and her legs. She was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in Colorado Springs and is expected to recover.
Neighbors told CPW that the deer was frequently seen in the area approaching humans and seeking attention. The victim who was attacked told CPW officers that she thought the deer wanted to be “snuggled” but when she extended her hand to the deer, it lowered its antlers and jabbed her abdomen.
She dropped her dog and grabbed the antlers and that’s when they both fell to the ground. The deer gored her until she was able to regain her feet. She ran to a neighbor’s house and tried to get inside the garage when was attacked a second time. That’s when she ran between two cars in the garage to get away from the deer.
The deer was euthanized later Friday morning when the deer, seen with blood on its antlers, aggressively approached a CPW officer who was investigating the attack.
CPW officers believe a neighbor illegally raised and fed the deer and it lost its fear of humans.
“This is another sad example of what happens when people feed wildlife,” said Frank McGee, area CPW wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region in a statement. “They become habituated to people, lose their fear and become aggressive and dangerous.”
“This buck showed no fear of the woman and her dog. And when our officer responded to the scene, it approached within a few feet. This tells me the deer was very comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of food.”
The attack comes after CPW officers received tips that a neighbor of the victim was feeding the 1½-year-old buck. The neighbor allegedly even raised it after it was orphaned, which is in violation of state law. CPW had been investigating the tips but officers had been unable to verify the claims or catch the neighbor in the act of feeding the deer.
After Friday’s attack, CPW officers interviewed several people in the neighborhood, including the person accused of feeding the deer. That person will be issued a citation.
The deer was taken to a lab for a rabies test and necropsy.