By Peter Hurrell, Dundas
I am disappointed that the Royal Botanical Gardens is considering culling deer on RBG lands.
I live on Old Guelph Road, about two minutes walk from the Raspberry House. The deer that graze on the grass and shrubs around my house are so used to people that passing drivers stop to photograph them. They probably roam onto RBG property, too.
To kill these deer would not be hunting. Ministry of Natural Resources officials say we have an over-population of deer, but I have never seen a thin or emaciated one.
As the land along Highway 5 is being developed, the wildlife is being compressed into an ever-smaller area. Presumably if deer were to be forced into smaller and smaller areas, no doubt the ministry would revise its figures until all but two or three should be killed. The residents of Pleasant View have fought long and hard to keep our neighborhood from being developed, which included a six-week OMB hearing.
We now have a unique area with connecting ravines that are wildlife corridors from Cootes Paradise to the escarpment. This is why the Eco Park has been proposed, which I thought the RBG supported.
Instead of looking at deer as a liability, why not look at them as an natural asset? A winter-feeding area could be set up, well away from the lilac garden, for photographers and people to see deer first hand. A few simple blinds would be very inexpensive. Officials could then promote the wildlife aspect of the RBG. I would imagine there are many families living in the city who have never seen a deer at close range. We don’t live in an environment with just flora; the fauna has a place too. To just kill animals out of hand because they don’t fit in with plans is 18th-century thinking and is unacceptable today.