The bizarre memorial ceremony comes at end of controversial deer cull.
Ann Arbor Michigan’s controversial and storied deer cull came to an end March 1 and anti-cull protestors held a memorial rally for the deer taken on Saturday.
MLive reports about four dozen people showed up for the memorial rally at Ann Arbor’s downtown library for the 63 deer taken by hired sharpshooters in the city’s parks and other nature areas.
Protestors at the memorial rally Saturday hung 63 prayer flags for each of the culled deer and lit candles and sang songs. Mlive.com also reports many of the participants shared their thoughts in the aftermath of the cull. “Let’s pray for peace and work for change,” an unnamed person said. “Deer lives matter, and all lives matter,” said another.
The rally is a bizarre conclusion to the hotly debated cull that gained national headlines. Ann Arbor city officials determined there had been an increase in car/deer collisions in the city. They also determined there is still an overpopulation problem were aerial surveys.
From the moment the city began considering options on controlling the deer population back in May of 2014, anti-hunters were strongly opposed. Protestors not only showed up at meetings on the issue, but also at deer check sites during the hunt. They also filed two lawsuits, unsuccessfully, in an attempt to stop it.
The city mulled over other options for population control including bowhunting before the Ann Arbor city council eventually approved sharpshooters during a heated meeting by an 8-1 decision back in August of 2015.
That meeting was a hint of things to come as residents attended who were both for and against something being done about deer in the city. “This is a very, very difficult issue that we all obviously have been grappling with for some time now,” Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor said at that meeting.
The whole issue may repeat itself next year as Mlive is reporting city officials are planning another cull attempt for next winter.
Images via MLive.