Deer begs for food in Colorado neighborhood where people fed it, close-up photos show

A deer seems to have learned it can count on a southwestern Colorado neighborhood for food — and that’s a bad thing, wildlife officials say.

Why? It can be dangerous not only for the deer, but for people too, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southwest Region said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Close-up photos show the mule deer staring straight at a homeowner as if it’s expecting a treat.

“Deer shouldn’t be on your doorstep begging for food,” officials said in the Jan. 31 post. Neighborhood residents had been feeding it fruit and vegetables, and it had gotten into some bird feeders as well, officials said.

“This creates a danger to the deer and humans,” officials added. “While people think they’re helping these animals survive winter, they’re doing far more harm than good. From trouble digesting, to the spread of disease and disrupted behavior patterns, feeding wildlife can be a huge detriment to their health. Not to mention, it’s illegal.”

It can invite “dangerous guests in neighborhoods, such as mountain lions that primarily prey on deer,” and can alter their natural migration patterns, officials said.

“We should also add, a deer at your house begging for food like this can also become dangerous to humans,” officials said. “When deer get used to receiving a food reward, and then the food reward doesn’t come, we’ve seen instances where the deer get aggressive with humans. You don’t want that.”

Residents who see someone feeding wildlife should tell them to stop and call their local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, officials said.

The main Colorado Parks and Wildlife account reposted the photos and said it was not OK.

“Wildlife’s stomachs aren’t made for human food,” officials said. “While you think you may be helping them survive the winter, you are hurting and possibly killing them.”

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