As I have been outside in my yard enjoying the rites of spring – the birds singing, flowers and leaves blooming – I can’t help but think of the deer that I used to see in my neighborhood. There used to be a buck that watched over two doe, and a doe I often saw scampering across Cedar Boulevard with her trio of fawns.
I have not seen any of these deer since last summer. It breaks my heart to know that they probably perished in the cull. More than 250 deer were killed in Mt. Lebanon this past year – 250 peaceful, beautiful creatures who did nothing wrong but be born. Of those killed, 90 percent were doe, intentionally killed because they were probably pregnant with fawns when they were lured to their deaths by baiting with corn. Did they deserve to get blown apart because someone’s flowers and landscaping mattered more than their lives? Even more troublesome, is the fact that 89 percent of the deer killed were killed on private properties in Mt. Lebanon. What people don’t know is, for this to happen, the resident calls the municipality up and tells them they don’t want deer in their yard, not the other way around. The municipality then arranged for the shooters to go to that resident’s yard, build a platform, and kill. The whole time this was going on, media were being fed stories about “reducing auto-deer collisions.”
Humanity is in big trouble if we do not have the compassion to live with, protect and co-exist with the natural world and wildlife that we were given on this planet. As I laid in bed at night this past winter, trying to drown out the sounds of shots being fired night after night, I tried to comprehend just what kind of person could shoot a hungry, defenseless animal that was being baited with food. What kind of person, also, puts a sign in their yard that reads, “Hunters welcome. We’ll serve you coffee.”
One has to wonder just what this world will be like when there are no more wild places, no more wildlife, when it is just man and concrete. In my opinion, Mt. Lebanon has a problem alright, and it is not a deer problem. It is a thinking problem.
I will not be here in the fall when they start up the archery. I am moving out – to a place where wildlife is celebrated, not exterminated.