A Tellico Plains woman was seriously injured Monday afternoon in an attack by a humanized white-tailed buck deer outside a business in Maryville.
At approximately 12:40 p.m., a woman from Tellico Plains was seriously injured by a humanized, male white-tailed deer outside of U.S. Tanx, located at 110 North Springview Drive in Maryville.
The injured woman was 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 and began goring her with its antlers.
The woman shielded herself from further injury and latched on to the deer’s antlers. The deer then dragged her around and continued the attack.
Three unknown bystanders assisted the woman as the deer continued to drag and injure her, but were eventually able to separate the deer and get her to safety. The victim was transported to Blount Co. Memorial Hospital where she was admitted for serious injuries.
Wildlife officers responded to the area and located the deer at a residence near the attack. The deer was wearing an orange collar around its neck and officers observed it acting unnaturally humanized. The officers immobilized the deer, removed it from the residence and euthanized it at another location.
A criminal investigation is ongoing but preliminary information suggests the deer was raised by humans from a very young age and unnaturally humanized. The white-tailed deer was about a year-and-a-half old 4-point weighing approximately 75 pounds.
Officials said, "This is an unfortunate example of the consequences that come from habituating and humanizing wild animals. In the case of humanized white-tailed buck deer, TWRA sees several situations where they become aggressive towards humans, 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 the breeding season."