Penticton councillor putting plan together to address aggressive urban deer problem | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton councillor putting plan together to address aggressive urban deer problem

FILE PHOTO - A deer crosses a street in Penticton.

The problem of aggressive mother deer attacking people and dogs in the Okanagan has been happening every spring and early summer for years, and so far no one has come up with a plan to do something about it.

It’s a controversial topic, but Penticton city councillor Amelia Boultbee is looking into the problem.

“The issue is fraught with controversy because deer are cute little animals and no one wants to see people doing anything bad to them,” she said. “I promised when I was elected, I’d bring issues forward even if they aren’t popular.”

This spring, residents have been phoning the city councillor with reports of dangerous encounters with deer and subsequent injuries to themselves or their dogs. Boultbee is planning to reach out to conservation officers to get a more concrete idea on the size of the problem.

“The problem is more visible, it’s something I’ve been aware of before I got elected,” she said. “I’ve encountered dangerous urban deer and its something that should be looked into.”

A few weeks ago Penticton resident Jackie Hooper was walking her dog through the middle of town when she got attacked by a mother deer and ended up with bruises and a mild concussion.

The incident happened Saturday morning, June 15, on Duncan Avenue by the Leir House.

“The deer jumped on my back and was kicking me and somehow I ended up on the street,” Hooper said in a previous interview it “I heard screeching wheels, people honking and yelling, and then I was on the ground on the sidewalk. It all happened so fast.”

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One June 10, an aggressive deer attacked a woman in West Kelowna and killed one of her dogs, and on May 31 part of the Gellatly Nut Farm was closed off for several days following an aggressive encounter between a deer and a patron.

“When this has come before council in the past, there was a look into sterilizing deer but that’s expensive and takes awhile to see the population reduce,” Boultbee said. “Relocating is also expensive and ineffective as deer can migrate over long distances. Looking at a cull is controversial and unpopular.”

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Boultbee is aware of a new social media group that is beginning to track encounters with dangerous deer. She is hoping to use some information from the page, and combined with information from conservation officers, to have a more clear picture of situation before presenting her findings to council next month.

Amelia Boultbee will represent the BC Conservatives in the riding of Penticton-Summerland in the upcoming BC election.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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