Deer Dilemma Part 3: ‘It’s not a Walt Disney movie’

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Editor’s note: This is the third installment of “Deer Dilemma,” a WTOP series about the controversial deer hunt planned for Rock Creek Park.

Michelle Basch,

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service says its plan to hunt deer in Rock Creek Park to reduce their population will be done as humanely as possible.

NPS says any deer injured during the process will be euthanized as quickly as possible.

Rob Gibbs with The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks says if the deer are not shot, the alternatives aren’t good.

“The other side of the equation is, what would happen if we weren’t killing the deer, and ultimately the population goes up to the point where they are eating out their food supply, and they become unhealthy. Starvation is certainly one of the options there, that’s not a particularly pleasant way to die,” says Gibbs.

Montgomery County averages about 2,000 car crashes a year due to deer.

“The other thing to consider, and people don’t like to hear this, the simple truth is it’s not a Walt Disney movie out there. Most wild animals die a traumatic, painful death,” says Gibbs.

“They’re captured by a predator, in the case of deer, they’re hit by a car. They get a disease. They starve to death. None of those by human standards are a pleasant way to die. So the reality is being shot is not a bad way to go.”

Carol Grunewald, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, disagrees.

“This is not what we want in the nation’s capital. This is a world-class city. People are civilized here, and we would really like to move on to the 21st century and use rational, scientific technology that we have at our disposal,” says Grunewald.

“We don’t need to go back into the dark ages and kill, kill, kill.”

Deer Dilemma Part 1: A Rock Creek Park hunt on hold

Deer Dilemma Part 2: Living near Rock Creek Park

Follow @MBaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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