A woman from Tellico Plains was sent to Blount County Memorial Hospital after reportedly being attacked by a humanized white-tailed deer recently.
The reported attack happened on Nov. 4 around 12:40 pm outside of U.S. Tanx, located at 110 North Springview Drive in Maryville.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the woman was getting the mail when the deer approached her from behind and slammed into her back, knocking her to the ground.
The deer then supposedly circled around her and began goring her with its antlers.
The woman allegedly shielded herself from further injury by grabbing hold of the deer’s antlers before the deer began to drag her.
Three bystanders rushed to aid the woman as she was being dragged by the deer and were eventually able to separate the deer and take the woman to safety.
The victim was then transported to Blount Memorial Hospital where she was admitted for serious injuries.
TWRA officers responded to the area and were able to locate the deer at a residence near the site of the attack.
The deer was reportedly wearing an orange collar around its neck and officers allegedly observed it acting unnaturally domesticated.
The officers were able to remove the deer from the residence and euthanized it at another location.
A criminal investigation is ongoing, but TWRA officials noted that preliminary information suggests the deer was raised by humans from a very young age.
The deer was about a year and a half old, 4 point and weighed approximately 75 pounds.
TWRA Region IV Information Specialist Matthew Cameron said his agency has seen several situations where humanized deer become aggressive toward humans, oftentimes women, during rutting activity.
He stated that even though deer attacks are rare, they do happen.
“Even with an estimated 15,000,000 white-tailed deer in the United States, deer attacks on humans aren’t common, but not unheard of,” said Cameron. “While there is no single common denominator that occurs in each attack, and both male and female deer can attack humans, many of the documented attacks share one of these two things in common and they are bucks that act aggressively during the rut or bucks that are injured and act in a defensive manner.”
According to Cameron, many issues arise from people trying to take in wild animals as pets.
“Domesticated animals have been bred for thousands of generations to be tame and have lost much of their natural fear of humans. Even then, a domestic animal can turn against you, causing serious bodily injury and even death,” said Cameron. “Being raised in captivity does not remove that wild genetic history of any wild animal.”