I want to thank Alita Bentley for writing in to The Pioneer and I want to put my voice behind hers in support of the cull. I would like to respond to the letter written saying that the cull is a massacre.
I understand that this is a very emotional issue and that people feel strongly about it but we also need to apply some logic to the problem.
Elephants, sharks, tigers and seals do not reside in the middle of towns and cities eating garbage out of cans and stomping on pets. They are not a risk to children playing in their own front yards, or families taking a walk down main street. And you can bet that if a tiger were to attack a child, or even a pet in the centre of an urban area it would be hunted down.
This is about so much more than deer eating a few petunias. This is about a population of deer who have forgotten what they are.
Deer in the wild are timid, run from predators and have keen defensive instincts. The deer in our town are bold, even aggressive, and do not run from cars, people, dogs or anything else. They dont migrate like deer in natural environments do, instead choosing to fawn in town, making them even more of a hazard.
Town is not choosing to wipe the deer off the face of the earth, nor would anyone in Invermere want that! They are choosing to manage an overpopulated species that is ballooning because it has no natural predators.
Deer in the wild are killed by wolves, cougars and other predators, not to mention starvation. And the lesson I want my child to take away from this whole ordeal is that nature is a balance, and right now things are terribly out of balance. And that is dangerous for people and animals.
I do not want to live in an animal-free zone. I do love seeing deer in our town. I love that my daughter gets excited when she sees them. But I want my daughter to grow up knowing that deer should not be fed, that they do not eat out of garbage cans and that they run when they see predators (including people).
If a pack of dogs had taken over our town, running in front of cars, chasing pets and children and tearing apart garbage, we would act. Yet because these are deer we are supposed to fortify our homes, never leave our fenced yards and let them run wild. That makes no sense to me.
Dee Connell, Invermere