BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – An East Tennessee woman was seriously injured Monday afternoon in an attack by a humanized white-tailed buck deer outside a business in Maryville.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, around 12:40 p.m., a woman from Tellico Plains was outside of a business getting the mail when the deer came up behind her and slammed into her back knocking her to the ground.
The deer then circled around her, goring her with its antlers. To protect herself, the woman grabbed the deer’s antlers. The deer then dragged her, continuing to attack her.
Three bystanders were able to separate the deer from her and get her to safety.
The woman was taken to Blount County Memorial Hospital in serious condition.
TWRA officers responded to the area and found the deer at a home near where the attack happened. The deer was wearing an orange collar and officers saw the deer acting humanized.
The officers removed the deer from the home and euthanized it at another location.
A criminal investigation is ongoing, but, preliminary information has revealed the deer was raised by people from a young age and unnaturally humanized.
“This is an unfortunate example of the consequences that come from habituating and humanizing wild animals,” says TWRA.
TWRA says its officers have seen several situations where deer becomes aggressive toward people, oftentimes women when rutting activity begins. This same rutting activity is also responsible for the uptick in deer versus vehicle collisions in the fall as deer are more mobile during breeding season.
The white-tailed deer involved in Monday’s attack was about a year-and-a-half old, 4-point, weighing about 75 pounds.