Editorial: Deer, oh deer

Urban or not, deer are wild animals

The problem of urban deer is not likely ever going away.

That’s right. “The problem.” As much as deer are lovely animals, and it’s sometimes a wonderful surprise to come across one unexpectedly, it can also be terrifying, as a Penticton resident found out recently when she and her pet were attacked on a walk.

Related: Penticton woman and dog chased by aggressive deer

Sadly, when she shared her story, partly as a warning to others about the dangers of does with fawns, she was attacked again. This time it was on social media, and even in person.

It’s a symptom of a division in communities across the province, with some staunchly defending urban deer, and others demanding they be dealt with, one way or another.

Several years ago, when Invermere tried to arrange for a cull of urban deer, a group of residents hit the village with a lawsuit. That put a chill on plans for culls across the province.

Related: Deer cull on backburner in Penticton

Culls remain unlikely, given the hoops a local government would have to jump through, not to mention local opposition. That’s not misplaced — culls are unlikely to be effective in the long-term, and killing animals needlessly is just not a good thing.

But the image of deer as kind, gentle creatures that can live in harmony with humans is just as misplaced. In the real world, these aren’t Disney characters. They are wild animals and as a prey animal, capable of defending themselves against all the other animals that see them as dinner.

That danger isn’t limited to the fall when the bucks are rutting or now, when does have their fawns. It’s just aggressively dangerous. You can’t blame the does. They have to ensure the safety of their baby.

Long-term, the best plan is one suggested by a Wildsafe co-ordinator: make it uncomfortable for the deer to hang around, making the wild more attractive than the city

But first, we have to come together on the reality that cities and wild animals really don’t mix.

Just Posted

Penticton tech company gets boost from federal government

XCO Tech will receive $800,000 in federal funding to commercialize their technology platforms

Public invited to open house to discuss future of Shatford Centre

The Okanagan School of the Arts is looking for input as to the future of the organization’s home

Still time to register for today’s Cyber Security Table Talk presented by Valley First

The Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce event still has seats available

South Okanagan kettle program in need of volunteers

The Penticton Salvation Army kettle program has 700 slots to fill

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Police in Vernon catch suspects after armed robbery in Salmon Arm

Victims told police they were robbed at knife point near an ATM

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read