Put people before deer

I encounter deer on most of my daily walks which are no where near the Uplands Golf course.

A few days ago a brochure on living with deer was dropped through our mailing slot. I completely disagree with most of it.

People feeding deer is unlikely to explain the growth of the deer population. The lush vegetation and the lack of predators in Oak Bay is enough to explain it.  The brochure states culling is a cruel method of keeping deer in check, but accidents are a much more excruciating way of dying! Accidents will be difficult to avoid with the increasing population and the tendency of many deer to suddenly jump onto the roadway.

I encounter deer on most of my daily walks which are no where near the Uplands Golf course.  Some of my encounters have been potentially dangerous.  Just a few examples:

–  Approaching a sharp corner at Barkley and King George Terrace a doe jumped out of the bushes just half a metre in front of me.  There is no pedestrian sidewalk there and because of me suddenly jumping away from the doe, I created a hazardous situation there for a turning car.

–  Cycling up to Beach Drive after crossing Foul Bay, two cute speckled bambi unexpectedly jumped out on to the road and started playing a game of zigzag in the middle of it.. The only way to avoid them was to jump sharply off the bicycle which could lead to injuries. That point was just after a stop sign. A car was beginning to accelerate up the hill and had to brake sharply to avoid them, creating a hazardous situation for the car following it.

These  events occurred in bright daylight. This becomes even more difficult to avoid regardless of speed at dusk or darkness in the fall and winter months.

I support the Mayor and Oak Bay council for making decisions based on safety of human beings.  Deer were rare here just five years ago. The increase of their populations on streets coincides with numerous developments, which destroyed their territory.

It will be wiser to spend energy to prevent sprawling development which ruins the natural habitat of wildlife instead of publishing useless brochures.

T Lielupe

Oak Bay