2019 featured plenty of wildlife attacks provoked by humans

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DENVER — Among the more interesting stories featured in 2019, several of them involved wild animal attacks provoked by humans.

The latest incident happened this week in Estes Park. A woman was seen trying to pet a massive bull elk outside of a super market.

“When it comes to wildlife people can sometimes lose a little bit of common sense,” said Jason Clay with Colorado Parks & Wildlife.

That’s the unfortunate truth in our society, Clay added.

Each year, Colorado Parks & Wildlife has to issue violations for things like petting and feeding wildlife.

"Feeding wildlife is a big problem across Colorado,” Clay said.

In 2018, Colorado Parks & Wildlife issued 19 citations for harassment of wildlife and 20 citations for unlawful baiting of wildlife.

"People need to remember that wildlife is just out there wild! They'll act unpredictably. They can be dangerous,” Clay explained. 

This past November, a man in Franktown got gored by an aggressive deer who wildlife officials said was being kept as a pet.

"We believe that someone tried to hand-raise that deer and it got too much for them and they set it free. And that deer had a dog collar on it,” Clay said.

Unfortunately, the deer had to be put down.

In Estes Park Christmas week, there were several instances of out-of-towners trying to pet a bull elk who didn’t like it one bit.

"It`s saying get away when you see it ducking its head in that video,” Clay explained. “When you see that, that`s a very dangerous situation. Those people are lucky they weren`t hurt”.

Back in September, a woman from Colorado Springs picked up an injured bobcat and put it inside her car next to a child.

"A bobcat can take down a deer,” Clay said about the animal's strength.

In Colorado, it is illegal to feed big game wildlife. It is also illegal to try and raise or domesticate wildlife. You need a permit from the state to do that.

Best advice: respect wildlife and appreciate them from a distance.

"Just do [it] the right way where it`s safe for yourself and it doesn`t do any harm for our wildlife,” Clay said.

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