After reading the recent cover story in the Oak Bay News and a feature article in the Globe and Mail, I feel quite sickened by the senseless killing of deer in Oak Bay. In fact, I feel ashamed to be a resident of Oak Bay.
Initially, following our municipal election, I thought, sadly, that this cull was a done deal with Mayor Nils Jensen’s election. I have recently learned that there is still time for a change, if enough people speak out. And apparently, Oak Bay council has not done its due diligence in this process, neglecting the requirement for a survey and concrete scientific data. Contrary to Ms. Schwtje’s assurances in your recent cover story, these deer will not be culled “humanely” and their suffering will last well beyond 30 seconds.
Our family moved across the country to live in Victoria and specifically in Oak Bay, nearly seven years ago. It was important to us to raise our child in a place of such natural beauty and balance. My sense is that this has been a draw for many others. Living in such a natural environment requires respecting it. What will this cull and negligent process that the mayor is leading teach our children?
The deer are a part of this landscape, along with other creatures. If this cull proceeds, where will the insanity end? Will certain residents and our mayor tackle the birds that deficate in the prized gardens? And then there are those who find off-leash dogs and owls bothersome too. Perhaps resources could be wisely spent: reducing the 50 km/h speed limit on most residential streets and adding better lighting on our streets.
We, along with reputable scientists and others who see through the charade of this cull, believe that the Oak Bay mayor is fear-mongering. It’s a sad day when something like this can happen. I am now looking into what we can do to stop this cull (or at least fill out a survey) and ask other residents – and members of council – to consider the unique natural beauty of this place and the kind of community we want to be.
J. Anka & family