CAÑON CITY — Cañon City community members are now brainstorming ways to commemorate the loss of Tilde, a 2-year old white deer who became beloved by the city.
Tilde was confirmed dead over the weekend. Colorado Parks and Wildlife inspected his body, which was found on private property, and confirmed the deer had not been poached. CPW suspects that Tilde could have died of natural causes, or after being hit by a car.
Everyone in Cañon city, from coffee shop owners to pedestrians, were moved by Tilde's passing. However, some residents connected with the deer more than others.
"Tilde felt like my spirit animal," said Carol Stires, who saw Tilde frequently when he roamed the field across from her home.
Stires lost her job in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit and, like many, found herself with a lot of extra time at home.
“You tend to be sitting home, trying to look for jobs and nobody is hiring, so I was able to spend sometimes two hours just watching him, getting lost in the things he was doing. And it helped.”
She would photograph and videotape Tilde, then post them to the "Tilde the white deer" Facebook page. The page has over 2,000 members.
“People were able to be on that page and talk about him and have something else in their life besides COVID, or anything else that was happening in their lives. Ya know, it just gave us some hope.”
Stires and many other members in the page hope that the city will do something permanent to honor Tilde's legacy.
"It would be really nice to have a statue and memorial of him," said Stires.