Park District Copes With Deer Problem

May 22, 2006

The Chicago Park District is struggling with how to deal with a cute menace.

The North Park Village Nature Center is an island of green on the city's Northwest Side.

But managers say some residents are getting out of hand.

Twenty deer have munched so much greenery that other species can't find food.

So, the district's planning to control, that is, kill, several of them this fall.

After the deed's done, ecologist Bob Porter will need to explain why to the center's twelve thousand visiting kids.

And, what will he tell them?

Of course it depends on the age, but we focus and really promote biodiversity, Porter says. We really talk about, even though it's big and fuzzy and cute it's no more valuable, really, than the almost microscopic insects that are here. Everything is important.

The district's options are limited.

Illinois' deer population's already swollen.

Any deer moved outside the city face starvation and disease.