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Feeding deer: What some think helps--hurts them - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Feeding deer: What some think helps--hurts them

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Feeding wild animals is illegal, but Division of Parks and Wildlife officers say it still happens all the time, "It is illegal and you will get a citation," said District Wildlife Manager, Philip Gurule. Feeding deer is one of the more common violations.

What does it hurt? Wildlife managers have a long list of reasons why it is bad for deer.

Food causes deer to congregate in areas, and stay, rather than engage in their natural behavior of migrating while grazing. Too many deer too close together can spread disease and infestations like mites. It also increases deadly encounters with cars because the feeding typically happens in populated urban areas. Non-natural food can cause illness, even kill deer. “What happens is it actually compacts in their intestines and they can’t pass that and they end up dying a really horrible death," said Gurule.

When deer get too accustomed to people feeding them it can turn dangerous. "Just last year we had a buck that was being fed. It got really used to people, the rut started coming in and he actually gored a lady, even broke her home." Because the deer was aggressive it had to be put down.

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