Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Frees Deer Entangled in Christmas Lights

Many of us enjoy the holiday cheer Christmas lights bring, but you have to be careful with your decorations if wildlife is apt to stop by.

An officer with Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently encountered a good example of this. Officer Joe Nicholson came to the aid of a buck deer in Jefferson County, Colorado, who had string lights wrapped around his antlers. As you can see in pictures shared by the agency’s Northeast Region, they had gotten pretty well entangled.

Nicholson was able to tranquilize the animal, get those lights removed, and send him on his way. In the final picture, you can see he’s no worse for the wear. However, that may not always be the case.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it’s important to remove tangle hazards from your yard to keep animals safe. This comes as the agency responded to a number of entanglement incidents throughout the fall. Unfortunately, that included a buck who got a hammock wrapped around his head and body. The deer died after circulation was cut off to his back leg.

Wildlife Officer Casey Westbrook says, “Oftentimes we go through heroic efforts to save the animal, but sometimes we can’t save them.”

PHOTO: ADOBE STOCK / TONY CAMPBELL

The agency says there are a variety of entanglement hazards that could prove harmful to animals. Those include hammocks, Christmas lights, tricycles, tires, garden cages, clothes lines, plastic fencing, and lawn chairs. Elk and moose have been known to get caught in these items, too, not just deer.

To avoid an incident like this happening in your yard, be careful about where you place these items, or remove them altogether. For Christmas lights, it’s recommended that they are placed higher than six feet or tightly wrapped around buildings and trees.

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