February 07, 2013 - 5:06 PM
Penticton has to hold off pulling the trigger on its mule deer problem.
High numbers of mule deer in the city's downtown core might mean a greater chance of animal-vehicle collisions and more instances of hostile deer threatening residents and pets.
One solution is a cull but the province will not give its OK until there is a resolution in a court case that will rule on deer management practices.
“The biggest problem with mule deer is they are taking up residency in the city where they don't belong,” says Mayor Dan Ashton.
He says the deer are seeking food due to a lack of it in the mountains and deer-fencing surrounding the area's orchards and fields.
“We end up with all these deer in these urban settings.”
The mule deer also bring coyotes, ticks and pests with them when they come into town.
Instead of a cull the city has asked residents to remove as many food sources as possible.
Council came up with a bylaw last year prohibiting the feeding of deer within the city. The bylaw states no one is to provide deer with food by intentionally leaving food, food waste or other attractive edible material intended for the sole purpose of feeding them.
City staff have also tried to count the deer but Ashton explains that has been difficult.
Residents can report sightings of urban deer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 250-490-2400, and learn about mule deer by visiting www.penticton.ca.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013