BLACK FOREST, Colo. (KRDO) -- A woman was seriously injured Friday morning after a deer attacked her in Black Forest. Wildlife officers say the young buck may have been illegally raised by a neighbor.
On Friday morning, a woman was walking her dog along a wooded path in Black Forest when she was approached by a deer. The victim told officers that she believed it wanted to be "snuggled." As she extended her hand, the deer lowered its antlers and jabbed her abdomen.
The victim and the wild animal fought as the deer gored her on the ground. When the victim was able to gain her footing again, she ran to a neighbor's house and entered the security code to open their garage door, only to be attacked a second time by the deer. The woman ran between two cars in the garage to get away and end the attack.
The victim suffered serious injuries to the top of her head, her left cheek and her legs. Paramedics took her to a Colorado Springs hospital for treatment and she is expected to recover.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it had received multiple tips prior to the incident about a neighbor of the victim feeding a young buck and raising it after it was orphaned; a violation of state law. However, officials were unable to verify the claims or catch the neighbor in the act.
Later Friday morning, officers responding to the incident were approached by a deer with obvious blood on its antlers. CPW decided to euthanize the deer given its aggressive nature and the visible blood on the antlers.
CPW officers interviewed nearby residents including the person accused of raising the orphaned deer. Neighbors reported the deer in Friday's attack was often seen in the area approaching people and seeking attention. Based on the information gathered, officials say they will issue a citation once the investigation is over.
“This is another sad example of what happens when people feed wildlife,” said Frank McGee, area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region. “They become habituated to people, lose their fear and become aggressive and dangerous."
McGee said the buck showed no fear of the woman and her dog. The officer who was approached by the deer said it came within a few feet as well, according to McGee.
"This tells me the deer was very comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of food," McGee said.
Human conflict with wildlife is increasing throughout Colorado, especially in Front Range communities where people are moving to and establishing their homes. McGee says he fears similar conflicts will continue until people take seriously state laws forbidding the feeding of wildlife.
“This is why it is illegal to feed deer and why we urge people to make them feel uncomfortable in neighborhoods,” McGee said. “The issue is far more serious than ruined landscaping or even the car wrecks they cause on a daily basis on our roads."