Deer management takes a leap ahead

Council should be commended on deer action plan

The highly anticipated Deer Management Strategy is becoming visible in Oak Bay today with the distribution (through this edition of the Oak Bay News) of two CRD brochures.

These brochures outline several ways residents can live with deer, as well as how to discourage them from settling in residential areas.

Although we love the beautiful creatures and many of us enjoy watching wildlife up-close, we must remember at all times that these are wild animals who will respond to threats we don’t see and who will act unpredictably – potentially endangering human lives.

Dealing with the increased deer population is not an easy task and Oak Bay council must be commended for taking a stand on the issue and for making a decision to increase fines for feeding deer, as well as providing added information to residents through distribution of these brochures.

Council states it will continue to listen to resident’s opinions and re-evaluate its deer mitigation measures as it proceeds to implement the plan.

This plan, as we all know, also includes culling up to 25 deer.

Opposition to the cull has been expressed in our Letters to the Editor frequently, along with many roadside demonstrations, gatherings at municipal hall and information distributed through DeerSafe Victoria, Friends of Animals, The Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals, the BC SPCA and others.

While the cull is not expected to take place until the fall, even that will not make the problem go away, should it occur.

At this point it is obvious we will be living with deer for the foreseeable future, therefore we must learn to be wary of them and conscientious of the fact they may be at the roadside nibbling shrubs or bounding across the street in front of us at any time. Safety is the reason council has embarked on this program, but residents must participate to make it work.

 

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