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Deer follows woman into home, attacks her with hooves

Wildlife officials said they believe the deer was illegally fed and had lost its natural fear of people.

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. — A deer followed a 77-year-old woman into her Woodland Park home and then attacked her with its hooves, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

The woman suffered scratches, cuts and bruises to her back during Tuesday's attack, CPW said. She was bringing groceries into her home and had propped her door open, according to CPW, and the doe followed her inside and surprised her.

She told CPW that she turned around to find herself face-to-face with the large deer, which seemed quite comfortable inside the home. She said it even started eating food in her kitchen as she tried to get it back outside.

>The video above shows an Evergreen woman luring a deer into her home with food

The victim said she threw objects at the deer’s hooves to scare it out, but it wouldn’t retreat. When she momentarily turned around, the deer reared up and began thrashing her back with its hooves, causing multiple scratches, cuts and bruises.

She managed to stay on her feet and finally shoved the deer outside, however as she tried to unprop the door, the animal ran back inside, according to CPW.

She then got a mop and used it to push the deer back outside and closed the door.

By the time a CPW officer responded to the scene the deer was gone. The victim told him the deer would return in the morning because her neighbors feed the deer. 

The officer returned the next morning and found the doe in the victim's yard. She was able to positively identify it by its unique markings and the officer humanely euthanized it.

The deer’s body was sent to a CPW lab for a necropsy. The incident remains under investigation.

Wildlife officials believe the animal was being illegally fed by neighbors and had lost its natural fear of humans.

“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.

“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. This tells me the deer was far too comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of getting food.”

RELATED: Deer wearing dog collar gores Franktown man

Human conflict with wildlife is increasing throughout Colorado and especially in Front Range communities where human populations are expanding. There were two deer attacks in the Pikes Peak region in 2020 and another in 2017. Wigner fears similar conflicts will continue until people take seriously state laws forbidding the feeding of wildlife.

RELATED: A third of bear-human conflicts in 2020 were caused by trash, CPW says

“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. 

“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. All three of them, and this lady in Woodland Park, are lucky the results weren’t much worse.”

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