One dog has been killed and another severely injured after being attacked by deer in a Utah neighborhood this month, according to reports.
Residents of Dimple Dell Heights in Sandy, Utah, said that on two occasions deer entered residents’ yards before having confrontations with pets.
Dave Ross told Utah news station Fox 13 that his shih tzu dog named Griz was left with six broken ribs and 20 staples after coming face to face with a deer in his backyard.
“When I came out, he was laying there, unable to move,” Ross said.
Only a few days later, Ross saw that a deer had entered the yard of his neighbor, named by Fox 13 as Ty Erickson, as well. Ross tried to warn his neighbor that the animal was there, but ultimately Erickson’s dog Tigz died having apparently been trampled by the animal.
Erickson, who described the dog as “our world,” guessed that his pet came out of the family’s doggy door, had a confrontation with the deer, “and that was it for him.”
Both men have reached out to local officials regarding the incidents. Sgt. Greg Moffitt with the Sandy Police Department described that incidents as rare since “dogs generally frighten off deer,” according to Fox 13. The Division of Wildlife Resources has said it could be that the animals were protecting their young.
The Division of Wildlife Resources is advising state residents to stay away from deer and not to feed them.
It’s not unheard of for deer and dogs to act aggressively with each other. Last year, officials at Gunnison National Park in Colorado banned dog walking in some areas due to potentially aggressive deer protecting their young.
The ban followed female deer acting aggressively towards park visitors who were walking dogs, Out There Colorado reported at the time, with officials noting that past attacks had resulted in several deer being euthanized and visitors being put in danger.
The UK’s Royal Parks organization notes that deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog isn’t behaving in a provocative manner.
It isn’t just deer confrontations that can put dogs and people at risk. Earlier this year, doorbell footage showed how a man grappled with a black bear on his porch while attempting to protect his dogs. He was reportedly left with non-life-threatening injuries and his dogs weren’t hurt.
Separately, this year an 81-year-old woman had to be treated for bite and scratch injuries after attempting to rescue her dog from a bear attack that took place outside her New Jersey home. The dog didn’t survive.
The US Department of Agriculture states that people should keep their dogs leashed when hiking in bear country