British Columbia

Kootenay city to cull urban deer

The B.C. government will allow the city of Cranbrook to be the first city in the province to cull its urban deer.

Twenty-five deer to be trapped and killed

The problem deer have been terrorizing the Kootenay city of Cranbrook in recent years, attacking pets and even people. (CBC)

The B.C. government will allow the City of Cranbrook to be the first city in the province to cull its urban deer.

The problem deer have been terrorizing the Kootenay city, attacking pets—and even people.

Last summer, a video of a mother deer attacking a Cranbrook dog Cranbrook went viral. A month later, a newspaper carrier was attacked by an urban deer while doing his rounds in the city.

"People in our community want something done," says Chris Zettel, the communication officer for the City of Cranbrook.

Cranbrook will model its deer cull after what city officials did in Helena, Montana he said.

The province will issue the city a permit to trap and kill up to 25 deer. A contractor will bait problem deer into a Clover trap  then kill them with a bolt gun, similar to the way animals are killed in slaughterhouses

The venison will be offered to First Nations and food banks, said Zettel.

Cull to start in the fall 

Zettel says he hopes the Cranbrook cull will start this fall. If it works, he says the cull could become an annual event, until the aggressive deer leave the city.

He expects other Kootenay towns, like Grand Forks and Kimberley will be watching closely.

"We're sort of at the leading edge of this. Nowhere else in the province is this been done. A lot of people are interested in what we are trying to do."

He's presenting the plan to interested municipal politicians at the Union of BC Municipalities meeting Sept. 26-30.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating

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