PROMO Animal - Mule deer buck - USFWS - public domain

Mule deer attacks woman in Aspen

Mule deer buck - USFWS - public domain

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers responded to reports of a mule deer attack in Aspen Friday afternoon. 

Just after noon, a young mule deer buck attacked and injured a woman at Rio Grande Park on N Mill Street in Aspen. The woman was with a group on the basketball court when the buck approached. The woman was backing away to give the deer space when he attacked. The woman received minor injuries to her arms while shielding her face but refused medical attention. 

CPW wildlife officers arrived on scene to investigate the incident approximately an hour later. After interviewing the victim and several witnesses, officers determined the victim did nothing wrong and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. According to witnesses, the deer had approached the group before the attack, which suggested that it had become habituated to human presence and lacked the natural fear that wildlife should have towards humans.

Officers were able to locate and capture the deer, witnessing the same extreme lack of fear to humans described by witnesses. Due to the unusual and extremely aggressive behavior, CPW euthanized the deer to protect public health and safety. 

Deer attacks are rare but can happen, resulting in serious injuries. This incident serves as an important reminder that wild animals should always be treated as such. While it is common for deer and other wildlife to live inside town limits, CPW reminds everyone to give wildlife space, and feeding wildlife is illegal, no matter where they are.