DENVER (KDVR) — A deer died after being fed by humans, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Friday.
CPW said the doe was reportedly bedded in the same location for at least one day.
After the animal died, it was taken to a CPW lab for a necropsy.
“We discovered her stomach was full of corn & she had and signs of acute rumen acidosis that explained her diarrhea,” CPW said via Twitter.
The agency said ungulates like deer and elk eat wild grasses, forbs and shrubs.
“They have a specialized stomach (rumen) for digesting this type of food. When a deer eats corn, birdseed, apples, grain, or other high carbohydrate foods, the stomach balance is upset and too much acid is produced,” CPW said.
The acid causes burns to the stomach lining, which allows bacteria into the blood and causes diarrhea, dehydration, brain damage and hoof problems.
“Many animals die quickly from the acid’s immediate effects, while others may live longer but die from liver or brain damage. The best way to prevent acidosis in wildlife is for people to stop feeding them,” CPW said. “Many people want to help wildlife by providing food, but unfortunately this practice causes many wildlife deaths each year in Colorado.”
The agency did not say exactly where the deer was found.