A Colorado woman walking her dog was viscously attacked by a deer that was illegally being raised by her neighbor as her “pet,” officials said.
The deer that was described as “aggressive” with visible blood on its antlers, was later captured by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers and euthanized.
The deer’s owner, Tynette Housley, 73, was cited for two misdemeanors and fined $1,098.50, according to the CPW.
Raising wildlife as pets is illegal and in violation of state law, according to the CPW.
Officers said they learned about the attack after they received a tip that a neighbor, in the Black Forest community, of the victim has been feeding the 1 1/2-year-old buck, she allegedly had raised after it was orphaned.
Neighbors said the woman’s pet deer was frequently seen in the area approaching people and seeking human attention.
CPW officials had been investigating and conducted their own interviews with neighborhood people, including with the person accused of feeding and raising the orphaned deer, but said they were unable to verify the claim before the recent attack.
The victim gave officials a detailed account of the frightening ordeal that played out like a real-life action movie. She said that when the deer started following her and her dog she turned to face the animal and within seconds the attack began. The woman said the deer lowered its antlers and began jabbing her in the abdomen. To protect herself, she grabbed the deer's antlers, and both - deer and human - fell to the ground as the deer continued to gore her.
Once she was able to regain her footing she ran towards a neighbor’s house to get help before reaching her own home. She said just as she was punching in the security code to open her garage door that the deer arrived and began to gore her for a second round. The attack finally ended once she was able to run between two cars in her garage.
“This buck showed no fear of the woman and her dog. When our officer responded to the scene, it approached within a few feet,” said Frank McGee, area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region in a statement. “This tells me the deer was very comfortable around people. Dangerously comfortable. It viewed humans as a source of food.”
McGee fears similar conflicts will continue until people take seriously state laws forbidding the feeding of wildlife, particularly in Front Range communities where human populations are growing.
“This is another sad example of what happens when people feed wildlife,” said McGee. “They become habituated to people, lose their fear, and become aggressive and dangerous. The issue is far more serious than ruined landscaping or even the car wrecks they cause on a daily basis on our roads.”
The unidentified woman suffered lacerations to the top of her head, her left cheek, and her legs. She was taken to a Colorado Springs hospital and was expected to recover.
Inside Edition Digital reached out to Tynette Housley several times and did not get a response.
The deer was taken to a lab for a rabies test and necropsy. The incident remains under investigation.