Deer dies of cancer with odd stomach contents, prompting warning from Colorado Parks & Wildlife

CPW shared a photograph of the deer that died with a stomach full of bird seed. Photo Credit: CPW NE Region

Feeding big game isn’t only illegal in Colorado – it can be deadly.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials are once again warning the public not to feed wildlife following the tragic cancer-related death of deer in Colorado.

CPW shared a heartbreaking photograph of the deer that died stating, “This poor deer had cancer and died with a stomach full of birdseed. When people feed wildlife, it may fill their bellies, but it is not giving them the nutrients they need to survive.”

Feeding wildlife kills and this isn’t the first time this issue has gotten public attention. A doe found dead with a corn-filled stomach also made recent headlines with the same “stop feeding wildlife” message from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Feeding big game, especially deer, whether it’s hay, corn, dog food or other livestock-type food, can kill them. Their digestive systems aren’t designed to handle these types of rich foods,” said Renzo DelPiccolo, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Montrose.

Feeding of deer causes them to concentrate in high numbers (see below), which can lead to a number of problems including the disruption of migration patterns and the spread of diseases and parasites. It also draws in natural predators such as mountain lions.

Recently, one woman lured multiple deer inside her home by setting up a buffet of foods including wheat bread, apples, carrots, bananas, and cereal.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger, a man and his wife were attacked by a deer wearing a dog collar in Franktown.

Editor’s note: Please do not feed deer or any other wildlife in Colorado. Not only is it dangerous to interact with wildlife, but unnatural food sources can be deadly. 

To report wildlife incidents of feeding or any other illegal activity contact your local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office. Reportings can also be made anonymously by contacting Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648 or game.thief@state.co.us.

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