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Oh Deer! Wildlife in neighbourhoods bring troubles

LAC LA BICHE - If you feed it, they will come. That's the worry of a Lac La Biche County subdivision resident when it comes to the growing "urban deer population."

Alyssa Belanger lives in the Lakeview Estates subdivision northeast of the Lac La Biche hamlet and is concerned about the growing numbers of deer that are now part of the neighourhood. She says the animals are coming into neighbourhoods because some residents are feeding them.

"I know that one of my neighbours is feeding them buckets of oats," she said, explaining that not only are the deer a concern, but what they bring with them.

"They are bringing in predators like cougars and bears to the area," she said, adding that smaller, but just as un-wanted visitors are also a concern. "The deer bring their own diseases, and deer are often carriers of ticks."

Animal feces in yards, the concern over lyme disease carried by ticks and vehicle collisions with the growing number of deer are all reasons that Belanger feels should bring about a municipal bylaw to help with wildlife animal control.

She was at a recent Lac La Biche County meeting to suggest a bylaw that recognizes the issue and enforces it. The municipality does not currently have bylaws about problem wildlife.

"It should hold accountable the people who are increasing the risks by feeding the animals," Belanger said.

Lac La Biche County councillors and administration will review the idea.

Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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