Kimberley city council received the year end report from Danica Roussy of Wildsafe BC at their regular meeting on October 25, 2021.
In that report, it was noted that at least five deer in Kimberley had been identified as antisocial or aggressive, particularly to people walking dogs. Incidents of encounters with aggressive deer are going up, including one incident in June where a woman was injured by a deer and sent to hospital.
Later in the meeting, Mayor Don McCormick introduced a letter he was sending to Minister Katrina Conroy, very firmly stating that it was time for the province to step up on the issue of urban deer.
“The number of incidents is going up every year,” said McCormick. “The trend is that population will hit the 200 mark again soon. We have no tools left. It’s time for the province to step up.”
Council supported sending the letter.
Coun. Jason McBain said that it was frustrating that nothing was being done about aggressive deer. He said that if there are incidents with bear or cougars, they are taken out.
“I have no problem with deer, but when they’re sending you to the hospital? No.”
Coun. Darryl Oakley said that the province has a responsibility over wildlife.
“We can’t translocate any more because of Chronic Wasting Disease. It was getting onerous anyway.”
Oakley says that the number of 120 deer in town identified as acceptable was probably accurate, and he was concerned at how population numbers were rising.
“When you can identify five deer that are clearly a problem, I shake my head.”
In his letter, McCormick outlined the actions the city has taken over the past ten years.
“We need help from the Province to manage below the 120 maximum deer population that biologists deem acceptable in this community,” the letter says. “The deer count last December was close to 150, and the population has grown significantly since then. Current numbers will be validated with the next count in late November.
“We are out of options, have a large and growing population again and need help from the province to ensure the safety of the community.
“The City of Kimberley needs a solution to this most urgent issue.”