Road construction workers in Boulder Canyon are worked up about a badly injured deer by the side of Colo. 119 which they said has been reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife multiple times in recent days but was still in the same small area, severely hobbled, on Tuesday.
“It’s animal cruelty,” said road construction worker Levi Goodroad, a Loveland resident.
He dismissed the notion that inclement weather could be a legitimate factor in the agency’s response to a deer the workers first identified as having a serious leg injury on Nov. 25.
“Nine days. The road’s clear. We have equipment here that we could strap it right on to help get it out of there. It’s incompetence and not caring, at this point, to let animals suffer that long,” Goodroad said. “The broken bone is sticking out of its leg. As sensitive as neighbors are up her to us cutting down trees, I would think they would get on to something like that, just to be humane to animals.”
Goodroad was seconded by coworker Joe Largent on Tuesday, who said “It’s been in the same area for eight days. The bone’s sticking out sideways. It’s suffering. If we had a broken leg, we’d be going to the hospital … I don’t know how it made it through the snowstorm.”
CPW Area Wildlife Manager Kristin Cannon, contacted Tuesday morning, said she, herself, had previously been unaware of the animal’s situation, but after making inquiries, she produced a narrative that differed from that of Goodroad.
“It sounds like they called our office three different times, and the first two times they said the deer was still mobile,” Cannon said. “If the deer can still get around, and eat and drink … we do try to give it a chance. There are a lot of deer with old injuries running around out there.
“But if it is determined to be going downhill or is becoming lethargic, then we will come out and put it down.”
The three calls to CPW, Cannon said, came in at 3 p.m. Friday, and again on Monday at 11 a.m. and about 2:30 p.m. the same day.
Cannon noted that county or city animal control specialists and the Colorado State Patrol also are empowered to euthanize an animal when that is required and a CPW officer is not immediately available.
Cannon said a wildlife officer went to the area — in the 38000 block of Boulder Canyon Drive, directly north across the highway from the Boulder Creek by Wedgewood Weddings (formerly the Red Lion Restaurant) venue — Monday, but was unable to see the deer, because it had managed to make its way up a hill to join several other deer. Goodroad said he did not know an officer responded on Monday.
Construction workers said there also is a yearling they believe is associated with the injured deer frequenting the same area
A reporter who went there Tuesday also found the injured animal had moved from its usual spot. Tracks indicated it had retreated up the same steep hillside as it had the previous day.
After being contacted by the Camera on Tuesday, CPW dispatched a wildlife officer back to the scene again, and the injured doe was spotted.
“He saw her and checked her out, and you can see from the video (the officer recorded) that her injury is pretty significant, although I can’t tell if it’s a clean break or if it’s just injured,” Cannon said.
“It scrambled up the hill pretty well and looks alert. We’d like to give it a chance to survive. It seems like that’s preferable to it, rather than us putting it down,” Cannon added. “When we euthanize something because it’s injured, it tends to be pretty immobile. Its mobility, here, makes it really difficult to put it down safely, even if we wanted to.”
But the situation is getting hard to watch for the road construction crew that has been seeing the same injured animal every day since the beginning of last week. One said he was tempted to pick up a large rock and end the animal’s ordeal himself.
Goodroad said he and his colleagues want to see action taken now.
“This is horrible. Absolutely horrible,” Goodroad said. “I’ve been a hunter for 20 years, and I am absolutely disgusted. We’re a bunch of tough construction workers, and it’s breaking our hearts.”