The continuing battle against urban deer in one Vancouver Island municipality is moving in a new direction as officials in Oak Bay prepare to use contraceptives to manage the population.
The plan is to track female black-tailed deer through the Victoria suburb and give them an injection designed to prevent them from becoming pregnant.
The work can be done on city-owned land, but permission from homeowners is required if the deer are spotted on private property.
In a social-media post, Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch urges residents of the Victoria suburb to register their properties so veterinarians can follow deer.
The $40,000 jointly funded municipal and provincial initiative is slated to begin delivering the contraceptives by late summer.
Urban deer can be aggressive toward people or pets, especially during fawning season, and the animals also munch on gardens and can create unexpected hazards for drivers and cyclists.
A growing population of black-tailed deer in Oak Bay prompted the municipality to approve a cull of 11 animals in 2015, but the cull angered many residents and raised the concerns of groups such as the B.C. SPCA.
Since then, Oak Bay has worked with veterinarians and scientists of the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society to gather data on the animals and develop a plan to manage the population.
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