WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — A 77-year-old woman was attacked in her home by a deer Tuesday, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers.
CPW said it believes the deer was being fed illegally by the woman’s neighbors.
“This is another dangerous example of what happens when people feed wildlife,” said Cody Wigner, CPW assistant area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region. “They become habituated to people, lose their fear and become aggressive and dangerous.”
The CPW said the woman was bringing in groceries from her car Tuesday when a mature doe followed her in through her propped-open door and surprised her inside her home.
The woman, who turned to find herself face-to-face with the large deer, said it started eating food in her kitchen as she tried to get it back outside, according to CPW.
The woman said she threw objects at the deer to scare it off, but it wouldn’t retreat. When she momentarily turned around, the deer reared up and began thrashing her back with its hooves.
The woman suffered multiple scratches, cuts and bruises, the CPW said.
The woman was able to remain on her feet and finally shoved the deer back out the door. However, as she was removing the prop holding the door open, the deer ran back inside the house. The woman then grabbed a mop and used it to push the deer back outside and closed the door, CPW said.
When a CPW officer arrived, the woman told him the deer would return in the morning because her neighbors feed it, which is a violation of state law. The CPW is investigating.
“This is why it is illegal to feed deer and why we urge people to make them feel uncomfortable in neighborhoods,” Wigner said. “The issue is far more serious than ruined landscaping or even the car wrecks deer cause on a daily basis on our roads.”
When a CPW officer returned to the woman’s home Wednesday, the deer was in her yard. The woman identified it based on its markings, and the officer euthanized it.
“This deer showed no fear of the woman and was quite comfortable entering her home. And when our officer responded to the scene, it approached within a few feet,” Wigner said. “This tells me the deer was far too comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of getting food.”
CPW said human conflict with wildlife is increasing throughout Colorado. There were two deer attacks in the Pikes Peak region in 2020 and another in 2017.
“We had a woman in Black Forest attacked in November and a young boy attacked in Colorado Springs in June. And we had a 72-year-old woman attacked and seriously injured in Black Forest in 2017,” Wigner said. “All three of them, and this lady in Woodland Park, are lucky the results weren’t much worse.”