It’s courtesy to offer food to guests.
It’s illegal to do so in Colorado when the guest is big-game wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Monday issued a reminder to the state after two “egregious” incidents of people feeding deer — one of which was recorded, with video of the incident released on Twitter by CPW’s Northeast Region.
The video shows a woman referring to a buck using pet names like “sweetness” and “angel” and feeding it bread, carrots, apples and bananas. At one point in the video, there are two additional deer in the woman’s home. All of the deer appear to have been given names by the woman in the video.
“These egregious acts of feeding wildlife need to stop,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Northeast Region posted on Twitter. “It is selfish and dangerous, for both the animals and people, plus it is illegal. Let wildlife be wild, these animals are not pets.”
The other incident that prompted CPW’s statement involved a man who was feeding deer in his yard. Deer would rush toward the man when he was outside, according to CPW.
Feeding big-game wildlife can result in a $100 fine per occasion of feeding, plus mandatory surcharges, CPW said in a press release.
CPW did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment regarding what punishment the woman in the video faces.
“It is selfish and unethical to feed big game,” Area Wildlife Manager Mark Lamb said in a statement. “You are going to end up unintentionally killing those animals and also putting yourself in harm’s way. If what you want is a pet or just to connect with an animal, choose a domestic breed that has evolved to live with people.”
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The video has been viewed more than 25,000 times on Twitter as of Tuesday evening.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported a dozen people who fed big-game wildlife were contacted in January in the areas of the two incidents in Monday’s statement.
“If you are training deer to come and stay in your backyard, you are asking mountain lions to be in your neighborhood as well,” Lamb said.
CPW recently changed its name on Twitter to a simple message: “STOP FEEDING WILDLIFE !!!” The account also shared a video from 2019 of a person trying to pet a deer, only to get attacked by the animal.
“Turning your yard into a virtual zoo by feeding deer and elk is not safe for people, not healthy for wildlife and is truly a selfish act,” Wildlife Officer Joe Nicholson said in a statement. “The proper way to enjoy viewing wildlife is to do so from a safe distance and without artificially introducing feed, salt, or other attractants that alter their natural use of the landscape and aversion to people.”