Truro’s town council has asked its bylaw officer to enforce rules forbidding people from feeding deer as concerns grow that too many of the animals are wandering into town.
Coun. Tom Chisholm says deer are destroying people's gardens, but he primarily worries one will cause a serious traffic accident. Deer also carry ticks, raising concerns about Lyme disease, he said.
If prosecuted, those caught feeding deer could face fines between $50 and $1,000.
"You can do persuasion and try to be nice about it, but if people aren’t going to stop and they're going to keep this thing up, some day someone’s going to get hurt," Chisholm said.
Deer have chewed through nearly all the flowers in Jean Clissold's garden.
"This year they were really bad," the Truro resident says. "As fast as the flowers were growing, they were eating them right down to the roots."
Deer used to remain on the periphery of Truro, but Chisholm said they’ve been lured into town because people are feeding them.
The councillor said deer are so prevalent that his wife even saw one running back and forth across Prince Street near the town hall, one of the busiest spots in Truro.
The town is asking its bylaw officer to begin handing out tickets to anyone caught feeding the animals. Officials are also contacting Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources for advice on keeping deer out of the town.
"There’s so many of them now you can see them regularly," Chisholm said. "And I’m scared that someone’s going hit it with a car, something is going to cause an accident, someone’s going to get hurt."