Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers euthanize mule deer after Friday attack in Aspen

A woman who was attacked by a mule deer buck on Friday in Aspen suffered minor injuries and is expected to be fine, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

Shortly after noon on Friday, Oct. 13, a woman was with a group on the basketball court at Rio Grande Park on North Mill Street when they were approached by a young mule deer buck.

According to a press release issued by CPW, the deer attacked the woman as she was trying to back away to give the deer space. She received minor injuries to her arms while shielding her face but declined medical attention. 

After CPW wildlife officers were on the scene and able to investigate, it was determined that the victim did nothing to instigate the incident. Witnesses told officers that the deer had approached the group before the attack, suggesting that it was habituated to human presence and lacked fear commonly expected from wildlife.

Based on descriptions provided by witnesses, officers were able to locate and capture the deer. In the interest of public safety, CPW said that officers were left with no choice but to euthanize the deer due to its, “unusual and extremely aggressive behavior.”

According to CPW, while deer attacks are rare, they still can happen, posing the risk of serious injury. Additionally, CPW asks the public to give wildlife space, whether animals appear within town limits or otherwise and remember that feeding wildlife is always illegal, under any circumstance.