An injured mule deer buck continued Friday to rest on a ledge of a retaining wall in Rockrimmon in northwest Colorado Springs, generating dozens of inquiries to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and to The Gazette, from concerned neighbors and passersby.
The buck, with his broken and bloodied antlers, severe limp and sagging ears, has been living on the ledge since before Christmas. Neighbors have been leaving tubs of water and feeding it apples, berries and other food. The buck was the subject of Thursday’s Side Streets column in The Gazette.
Generally, the buck stays on the ledge, about five feet above the sidewalk and Vindicator Drive, near Rockrimmon Boulevard. However it has disappeared for hours at a time in recent days.
On Friday, Wildlife spokesman Michael Seraphin continued to stress that it’s important for people to leave the buck alone.
He noted it’s illegal to feed the deer.
And he cautioned everyone to stay a safe distance away, and not to forget it is an injured wild animal despite the names given it like “Chuck the Buck” and “Fred” by electronic news outlets.
“We got reports of a woman with a baby standing next to the deer,” he said. “There’s a potential safety risk there. We’re lucky nothing has happened yet.”
“We try to explain to callers that our options are limited to letting it recover or putting it down,” Seraphin said. “We are getting comments from people who want us to put it in some kind of shelter, or have a vet treat it or that we should not let the animal suffer and put it down.”
Seraphin said the agency debated tranquilizing the deer so a veterinarian could examine it and assess its injuries and chances of survival.
“The trauma could kill the animal,” he said, noting that the busy intersection would need to be shut down for upwards of 30 minutes to ensure the buck didn’t bolt into traffic before the tranquilizer took effect.