FRANKTOWN — A Colorado man in his 50's was attacked and gored by a deer earlier this week.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said they believe the aggressive deer was hand-raised by people.
The incident occurred in Franktown, Colorado this past Wednesday. A Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy responded to a 911 call about the incident and dispatched the deer after it showed aggressive behavior.
According to CPW, the man who was gored, and his wife, told wildlife officers they saw what they thought was a "friendly deer" fitted with a fluorescent orange dog collar on the other side of their fence. The wife reached over the fence and the deer touched her finger with its nose before coming through a break in the fence line.
CPW said the deer then approached the woman, knocked her back, and pinned her against a barb-wire fence.
The husband then attempted to intervene but the deer attacked, knocked him to the ground, and dragged him around the yard. The man sustained wounds to his lower body form the buck's antlers, CPW said.
The wife called 911 and then was able to distract the deer, which allowed her husband to separate himself from the buck.
CPW said they believe the two-year-old buck had been domesticated and recently set free in the area. Prior to this incident, they had no reports of a collared deer in the area.
“Every indication we see points to this deer being raised by people, one from its collar and two from its behavior,” said Wildlife Officer Casey Westbrook. “We suspect somebody was raising it and released it after they couldn’t handle it anymore."
“These are some of the dangers that come when you try to domesticate, or even just feed wildlife, which is a major issue we start to see this time of year," Westbrook added. "These animals learn to expect something from humans and when they don’t get it, they become dangerous and encounters like what we saw here can happen. Mix in the fact that deer are now in the breeding season, and this all contributed to something that could have been prevented.”
CPW said they recieved a different report on Wednesday that the same deer had chased a 10-year-old boy in Franktown. A man pulled his car in between the deer and the boy, preventing an attack. CPW said this incident was just down the road from where the man was gored, just minutes later.
“The behavior of any wild animal can be unpredictable, and the behavior of wildlife that get domesticated can be demanding and aggressive," Wildlife Officer Westbrook said.
It is illegal to own or possess wildlife in Colorado. You cannot remove a wild animal from the woods and take it home. As a public resource, wildlife belongs to the state of Colorado, to all citizens.
If anyone has information of people raising or attempting to domesticate wildlife, it should be reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife by calling 303-291-7227. It can also be done anonymously through Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648 or sending an email to email@example.com.