A baby deer has caused quite the social media stir after being spotted running around City Park and East High School, and along residential streets in the surrounding City Park West and Whittier neighborhoods on Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s not too common,” Denver Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Cyndi Karvaski said, adding that the Denver Zoo started receiving calls from people who thought the deer had escaped.
City Park does have regular urban wildlife sightings of eagles, hawks, coyotes, foxes and raccoons, but seeing deer “is a little different,” Karvaski said.
Denver Parks and Recreation rangers first spotted the white-tailed deer in City Park Monday afternoon and said it was likely a “yearling” — which is a deer in its second year, whereas a fawn is a deer in its first. Rangers did not see the yearling’s mother, but Karvaski said she shouldn’t be too far behind.
John Pirkopf captured the below video of the deer running through City Park near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science around Colorado Boulevard and 17th Avenue on Monday around 9 a.m. (Click here if you’re having trouble viewing.)
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, however, did not find a deer sighting in that area of Denver to be unusual at all.
“We have a lot of new people in town and everyone needs to understand that Colorado has healthy wildlife populations,” Parks spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. “As long as deer are finding what they need… they will reside near people.”
The yearling most likely arrived at the park by moving along the river corridors in the evenings or traveling through other greenbelts, drainages and open space.
While Churchill said to “enjoy the opportunity to see a deer so close to home,” you still have to remember that this is a wild animal. (Interested in seeing more wildlife near the city? Check out our guide to wildlife photographers’ five favorite spots.)
As long as urban wildlife is not in danger or causing any threat, neither Denver Parks nor Colorado Parks will interfere with the animal.
“It got out there on its own and it will leave on its own,” Churchill said.
Here’s what you should do if you see urban wildlife
1. Do not feed the animal.
2. Keep your distance.
3. Keep your pets from interacting with it.
If you have any more questions for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, you can reach them at 303-291-7727.