AVON LAKE, Ohio - Birth control for deer sounds odd but it's one way the city of Avon Lake is looking to control an overpopulated deer species in their area.
According to Avon Lake's Mayor, Tufts University estimated Avon Lake's deer population to be around 300, a number council members say Avon Lake just can't support, which is why the County Council is working on a "Deer Management Program" to come up with a solution.
The problem is, not too may neighbors are agreeing on what to do. Earlier in spring, Avon Lake Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch said a proposal to allow hunting divided much of Avon Lake in what became a controversial debate. Now, they're taking a step back to examine all of their options.
"There's nothing that's not on the table. Everything is on the table," said Fenderbosch as she discussed the birth control option. She described a method of injecting the deer with a protein that would prevent the doe from giving birth.
Fenderbosch said, "This is a different experiment, we don't even know if the Department of Natural Resources would permit it."
Other options being investigated is a pilot program with the Ohio Department of Transportation. David Kos, also an Avon Lake Council member, is researching this option.
Kos said, "It would use experimental and also proven signs systems and alert systems to notify drivers of approaching deer and it can be done through a number of different ways: whether through light sensors, ear sensors or just seasonal signs."
And there's even more options on the table, but for all of Avon Lake's residents, time is running out …
"If you look at this wooded area," said Fenderbosch, " … all of the underlying is gone - all of the saplings, the native saplings, as soon as they start to sprout they're all eaten."
An ecosystem issue causing a lack of food, as well as a rise in car accidents involving the overpopulated deer have become so significant, some residents say it's almost inhumane not to hunt.
A resident walking his dog in the area, Bill King, said, "Something has to be done because leaving them to starve and eating people's property is not good either."
Both Fenderbosch and Kos say the City Council is making sure to take their time in exploring every option. Other cities like North Ridgeville approved Longbow Deer Hunting if certain conditions were met.
More on the birth control option can be heard in the provided interview.
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