Ocean Township residents are being urged not to feed the local wildlife, especially the deer.
“People are feeding wildlife, mostly in their own yards, and this attracts wildlife out of its natural habitat and into residential neighborhoods,” Deputy Mayor William J. Garofalo said.
“The wildlife can then also damage property and increases the possibility that animals could be struck by vehicles,” he said.
He said that putting out food also attracts other animals, like rats, squirrels, raccoons, opossums and rabbits. Bird feeders are not a problem
“But deer are a particular problem. Feeding them takes them out of their natural environment and can also attract vermin,” he said.
Garofalo said that feeding deer can also shorten a female’s gestation period and can also lead to multiple births.
“It doesn’t allow the deer to follow their own natural cycle and it exacerbates the problem. People should just let nature runs its course,” he said.
Garofalo also points out that if the deer population problem becomes uncontrollable, the steps necessary to contain the population will probably not be popular with some people.
“So as much as they love the deer, they need to stop feeding them,” he said.
People found feeding the wildlife can be fined as much as $2,000.