Colo. Woman Cited After Her Illegal Pet Deer Gores Neighbor Who Was Walking Her Dog: Officials
Authorities said Tynette Housley was cited for illegal possession of wildlife and illegally feeding wildlife after she admitted to taking in and raising a wild deer
A Colorado woman has been fined after a deer she was raising attacked a neighbor who was walking her dog last week, according to authorities.
Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced in a press release Monday that the 73-year-old woman, identified as Tynette Housley, was cited with two unclassified misdemeanors in the wake of the terrifying incident.
Meanwhile, the female victim — who has not been identified — was hospitalized overnight after suffering injuries and was later released, CPW authorities said.
The dramatic ordeal unfolded on Friday morning as the female neighbor was walking her dog on a wooded trail near her Black Forest home, according to the press release.
The victim told authorities that the deer, which was a buck with two-pronged antlers, began following her before it attacked for several minutes, "knocking her down and thrashing her with its antlers," according to officials.
Authorities said the woman told them she attempted to escape by running to a neighbor's house and then to her own home but was unsuccessful and repeatedly gored by the wild animal.
It wasn't until she opened her garage door and ran between two cars inside that the deer stopped and ran away, according to CPW.
Authorities said the woman suffered "serious lacerations to her head, cheek and legs and bruises," while the deer — which had blood on its antlers — "aggressively approached" a CPW wildlife officer who had responded to investigate the attack.
The wild animal was eventually euthanized and taken to CPW's animal health lab in Fort Collins, where it was tested for rabies and other infectious diseases, according to the press release.
Officials said they later determined that the animal had been fed by humans, with its stomach contents containing out-of-season foods like hay, grain, corn and possibly potato.
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After investigating, authorities said they were able to determine that the deer "belonged" to Housley. The woman admitted to officers that she took the days-old fawn into her Black Forest home more than a year ago and raised it, according to the release.
Housley — who did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment — was issued citations for illegal possession of wildlife and illegally feeding wildlife, which officials said will cost her a total of $1,098.50. Additionally, she was issued a warning for possessing live wildlife without a license after she admitted to keeping the deer in her home and later in her garage and on her property, officials said.
Following the incident, CPW officials urged residents to avoid taking wild animals into their homes.
"We can’t say it enough: Wild animals are not pets," Frank McGee, CPW's area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region, said in the press release. "Feeding deer habituates them to humans."
"They lose their fear of humans and that leads to these outcomes that are tragic for both wildlife and people," McGee continued. "Injured and orphaned wildlife should be taken to licensed wildlife rehabilitators."