A woman walking to a mailbox in east Tennessee was knocked to the ground by an enraged white-tail deer and gored repeatedly by its antlers Monday afternoon, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The bizarre attack was unprovoked and put the woman in Blount County Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, state officials said in a release. The victim has not been identified.
It marks the second time in two weeks that a buck has been accused of attacking a human in the South -- the other instance being a fatal attack on a 66-year-old hunter in Arkansas.
Tennessee wildlife officials say the latest incident happened at 12:40 p.m. outside a tank repair company in Maryville, 23 miles northeast of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
“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 release said.
“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 drug her around and continued the attack,” the state reported.
Three bystanders rushed to help as the woman was being dragged and “were eventually able to separate the deer and get her to safety,” according to the release.
The buck had four-point antlers and weighed about 75 pounds, officials said. Wildlife officers found it at a nearby home and “observed it acting unnaturally humanized,” a release said. It was also wearing an orange collar around its neck, suggesting it had been raised by humans, according to the release.
“The officers immobilized the deer, removed it from the residence and euthanized it at another location,” the press release said. “A criminal investigation is ongoing but preliminary information suggests the deer was raised by humans from a very young age and unnaturally humanized.”
State wildlife officials said the attack was “an unfortunate example of the consequences that come from habituating and humanizing wild animals.”
An update on the injured woman was not released Tuesday.
On Oct. 22, a man hunting 100 miles west of Arkansas died after he went to retrieve a freshly killed buck and the animal stood up and attacked him with its antlers, reported KY3.com.
Investigators told the station they had yet to determine if 66-year-old Thomas Alexander died from the antler puncture wounds or another cause, such as a heart attack.