Deer are so focused on finding a mate that they’re getting tangled in Christmas lights, Colorado wildlife officials said.
A buck was spotted wandering the state wrapped in Christmas lights, a photo posted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife on Nov. 23 shows.
“The big bucks have arrived at lower elevations for rutting season,” wildlife officials said. “It happens to coincide with the same time people are stringing up holiday lights.”
The breeding season hits its peak in mid-November and lasts through mid-December, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. During that time, deer migrate in search of a mate.
They become prone to getting tangled in holiday decorations or hanging nets because they are on the move. Bucks will also rub their antlers on trees or posts, wildlife officials said.
“It will get worse as we get into the rut,” wildlife officer Casey Westbrook said in a Nov. 4 news release. “We are seeing activity increase in deer starting to spar, and their general rutting activity and movements are picking up. When in the rut, we see a lot more entanglements.”
In some cases, entanglements can become serious for the deer because the animal could die.
It is also extremely stressful for the deer to frantically try to free itself from whatever it may be wrapped in, wildlife officials said.
“Oftentimes we go through heroic efforts to save the animal, but sometimes we can’t save them,” Westbrook said.
Wildlife officials said hanging outdoor Christmas lights and decorations above 6 feet can help reduce the likelihood of animals getting tangled. Additionally, hanging lights should be tightly secured to trees and buildings.
“Lights that hang low or that are draped insecurely over vegetation can get tangled easily in antlers,” wildlife officials said.