CPW: Franktown man gored by ‘aggressive’ deer that was likely raised by people

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FRANKTOWN, Colo. — A Franktown man was attacked by a deer believed to have been raised by humans, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Thursday. The incident happened Wednesday evening, not far from Tomichi Drive and Caribou Drive. CPW says the 56-year-old man was taken to a hospital for treatment and later released. The man and his wife told CPW they saw what they thought was a “friendly deer” on the other side of their fence shortly before 5 p.m. The deer was outfitted with a bright orange dog collar. “The wife reached over the fence and the deer approached touching her finger with its nose, then the buck came through a break in the fence line. It approached the woman and knocked her back, pinning her into the barb-wire fence,” CPW said in a statement. When the woman’s husband tried to intervene, the buck attacked him, knocking him down and dragging him across the yard. “He sustained wounds to his lower body from the buck’s antlers,” CPW said. The woman ran inside and called 911. She retrieved a pellet gun and shot it toward the buck, distracting it long enough for her husband to get away. A Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the property. The buck displayed aggressive behavior toward the deputy, according to CPW. The deputy killed the deer. CPW believes the deer, a 2-year-old buck, was domesticated and set free in the area recently. “Every indication we see points to this deer being raised by people, one from its collar and two from its behavior,” said Wildlife Officer Casey Westbrook in CPW’s statement. “We suspect somebody was raising it and released it after they couldn’t handle it anymore.” CPW says trying to domesticate wildlife is a major issue because they learn to expect things from humans. “And when they don’t get it, they become dangerous and encounters like what we saw here can happen. Mix in the fact that deer are now in the breeding season, and this all contributed to something that could have been prevented,” Westbrook said. On Wednesday, someone contacted CPW and said that about 2 p.m. Saturday, a man had to fend off the animal in his yard in Elizabeth. Additionally, just before the Franktown man was gored Wednesday evening, a 10-year-old boy was chased by the deer. According to CPW, the boy was uninjured because a man pulled his car between the deer and the boy, preventing an attack. “If this was reported to CPW on Saturday instead of being posted on Facebook, we might have been able to prevent this,” Westbrook said. “The behavior of any wild animal can be unpredictable, and the behavior of wildlife that get domesticated can be demanding and aggressive.” Owning wildlife is illegal in Colorado. Anyone who has information about people raising or trying to domesticate wildlife should contact CPW at: 303-291-7227.

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