Rut season is nearly over in Oak Bay. (Oak Bay file photos)

Aggressive deer continue to menace quiet B.C. town

Resident deer continue to scare residents of upscale Island community

  • Dec. 5, 2018 10:00 a.m.

Oak Bay’s resident deer continue to terrorize citizens.

Last week police reported two boys were chased down Lulie Street by a large deer. Luckily, the boys were riding scooters and managed to escape unharmed.

Conservation officer Peter Pauwels said his office was not made aware of the incident. However, he did say that running away from deer displaying aggressive behaviour isn’t the best option.

“Back away slowly, don’t turn your back or run away,” Pauwels said. “Try and put something like a car or door between yourself and the animal.”

Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.

Sixty-two-year-old Pam Guilbault was knocked unconscious after being attacked by a large buck while riding her bicycle in Oak Bay on Nov. 21. The incident left her with a concussion and unable to move her right arm.

The municipality is moving forward with a birth-control program in conjunction with the province, but residents have concerns.

Thomas Pressello wrote to the Oak Bay News suggesting it might be time to cull or relocate the deer. But according to Mayor Kevin Murdoch, that’s not on the table.

“We don’t have any authority to touch the deer. They belong to the province,” explained Murdoch. “Our animal control is strictly for domestic animals. The police get involved if an animal is severely injured, but not for healthy animals.”

Murdoch expects to a see a report from the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society with deer population estimates in the future, but until then it’s almost impossible to accurately guess Oak Bay’s deer population, he said. In the meantime it’s important that residents make the conservation office aware if they have any negative animal encounters.

“These incidents are a very good reminder that we can’t let this issue slide. It’s likely that immune contraception will be a solution long term, the harder question is what can we do in the short term.”


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