Feeding by-law offered as a way to prevent wildlife conflict in Alberta town

Residents of Sundre, Alberta, are feeding deer in town. An area cougar tracked the deer into town. Chaos ensued. This is a surprisingly common chain of events in many communities across Canada. But one Fish and Wildlife officer has a non-lethal plan to prevent potential conflict.

According to the Sundre Round Up, Fish and Wildlife officer Adam Mirus indicated to town council on February 23 that creating a wildlife feeding by-law could prevent potential conflict.

“People are feeding the deer and that’s a natural source for them [cougars]. It’s doing what it does. It’s determined where all the deer are going and it knows that the deer are always using the same trails going to and from town. It’s following its prey,” Mirus was quoted as saying in the Round Up. “There are tons of people feeding deer in town and that’s a big problem.”

Bird feeders and hay bales or piles of oats have been left out intentionally to feed the wild deer population.

Unfortunately, the presence of a cougar led to the use of hounds and rifleman intent on chasing the predator out of town – or killing him in the process.

Hopefully, the town of Sundre will take Mirus’ advice to heart and enact a feeding by-law before blood must be shed.

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