Dear Editor:

I see with much discomfort that the hunt for the Invermere urban deer is still on. This time with a referendum. To kill these inconvenient, dangerous, vicious creatures, and reduce them to more submissive, tolerable numbers.

Does this sound to you more like dealing with a town resident wolf pack, who nightly savage the streets of Invermere, leaving the main street full of victims bones? How come there aint no bones on main street or a layer of them in Pothole Park?

Why not ask Invermere doctors how many injuries a year they treat which are caused by deer, by domestic pets, by domestic violence, by people getting drunk and doing silly things? This will clearly show how dangerous deer really are. The result of a referendum will only show how many want the deer killed and how many dont. Measuring the actual danger by numbers gives deer a chance to provide proof of peacefulness themselves. No fear mongering, nor slaughter, will be needed.

Everybody can be 100 per cent safe around deer, and other animals. Yes, it helps if you spend some time studying the behaviour of the creatures you are living with. There are animals you can approach safely, others you want to stay away from. If there is no aggression, why not simply accept this naturally given distance? Statistics clearly support the fact that deer are not dangerous or aggressive when dealt with properly. There is nothing to base this paranoia on.

For those who do actually feel uneasy around deer, give yourself and them some space. Dont startle them. Watch them, understand them better, learn to live with them. They are wonderful creatures. If you just want the deer off your lawn, put an eight-foot fence around it that will keep the dogs off it too.

There are 69 naturally occurring species of mammals living in the Rockies. Isnt that wonderful? Dont you think it is worth it to try as hard as we can and learn to live with them in best possible harmony so our children and theirs can do so too?

Cliches? Sure, there are always many of those. Because there are as many reasons for living in harmony with wildlife as there are species. Do you really want to banish all animals to the zoo eventually because some dare to set hoof on your lawn?

Who next will be killed by referendum because we feel potentially threatened?

I think we have a forward-looking and modern council in Invermere. That makes it more surprising that they are obviously blind to the image damage this will surely cause. A referendum for permission to kill animals, as the cheapest option on the same ballot as a quest to support a $5.6 million new community centre?

What about some compassion, instead of venison, for a change? Anybody?

Ernst W. Schneider