Deer shows up in downtown Denver

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DENVER -- Wild animals are grabbing news headlines across the country. There’s the alligator in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. A mountain lion in Aspen.

But closer to Denver, wild animals are increasingly crossing into urban areas and it often ends badly for the animals.

A doe might have caused a few double takes late Sunday afternoon. She appeared out of place on a sidewalk across from the FOX31 Denver studios at 100 E. Speer Blvd.

She then sauntered across the street toward a busy Lincoln Street and East Sixth Avenue. The curious doe was frightened by the loud roar of a motorcycle -- the closest to a predator she'll find here.

Other drivers slowed down as she eventually made it across all four lanes of Lincoln before disappearing.

"My officer went looking for it. It moved through the downtown area. The last we saw it was at 38th and Marion. We hope it moved out," Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said.

She said the doe likely left the same way she arrived -- through drainage ditches and greenbelts.

"Animals are looking for food, water, shelter and space. So they find that near us. Unfortunately, that can cause trouble and they run into people, vehicles and pets," Churchill said.

The greenbelts and drainage ditches are common passage for wild animals encroaching on civilized society -- like for two bears last week. One in Denver brought out wildlife officers, police and excited crowds.

Wildlife experts say friendly attitudes toward the animals might end in the cruelest consequence: Their deaths.

"These are not pets. They are not zoo animals. And people need to understand these are wild animals,” Churchill said.

She said people can't let wild animals believe backyards are their territory because then they become aggressive.

"If we want them to remain wild and healthy, you need to chase them off and out of the neighborhood," Churchill said.

It means being cruel to be kind. If you see a bear, scare it away by screaming at it, banging pots and pans, and honking. But do it at a safe distance.