Locals Calling for Culling of Rampant Deer Population.
One major area of concern for residents is the unnatural aggression being observed in the deer which leaves residenets feeling unsafe to walk through Lithia Park, be outside with small children, or walking their dog. One resident claimed that a helpful bystander had to drive a car between herself and an aggressive deer that was trying to attack her and her dog while on an evening walk. The woman had to enter the strangers car and be driven away to escape the deer safetly. This was not an uncommon theme in the meeting as there were a dozen other residents who had similar experiences and were fearful of going out of their homes.
In addition to the concerns about aggression and safety, residents also expressed their worry that the deer could potentially bring diseases such as Lyme disease to the population.
While there seems to be overall agreement that the deer population has increased over the years, there is some major divided opinions concerning the solution to the issue. It appears that there is a split between residents who wish to have the deer population slimmed down by means of culling which would decrease the amount of deer in the city, and those who believe the deer are part of the natural environment and should be left alone to live alongside the people. Local resident, Gary Fall advocating for quick and decisive action proposed a question to the council regarding the potential consequences for ignoring the population issue saying “Is there a possibility of lawsuits against the city if somebody is harmed by a deer?“ The other side of the argument was reflected in a statement by resident Sally Rose Sandler saying “Culling in Ashland is not the answer, Ashland is different from cities elsewhere which is why we love living here”.