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Penticton  

Strata bemoans urban deer

Penticton city council has requested city staff look into options for managing urban deer in the community.

The move comes in response to a letter penned from Blossom Court Strata president Wayne Radomske, asking for help with a growing population of deer not frightened by humans or other animals.

“This is posing a safety threat particularly to children and our concern is it is just a matter of time and there is going to be an incident,” he wrote.

“The deer appetite for shrubs and flowers is destroying plant life and costing maintenance out of our budget. Many of our residents are on fixed incomes and being a small strata, our funds are limited,” Radomske continued.

Coun. Judy Sentes said the city’s urban deer problem “is escalating, for sure,” but questioned what the city can do about it without the province’s blessing.

In Oct. 2017, the province offered local governments a piece of $100,000 in funding to manage urban deer. The deadline for applications was the following month, and the City of Penticton did not apply.

“There has been discussion with staff, the regional district and the conservation office and there needs to be buy-in from all parties,” Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said.

“Everyone looks at deer as cute and cuddly, not as rodents and pests that are doing more than just eating your tulips,” he added “They are quite intimidating because they become very urbanized... they have no fear.”

Jakubeit called the urban deer situation a “complicated” one that many other municipalities are struggling with as well.

Part of the report requested by council will examine what other communities have done, and what has and hasn’t worked. The mayor said the staff report could act as a jumping off point for action by the city if council decides to do so.

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