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Staten Island Deer 'Not Happy' About Being Neutered But It's Working: Mayor

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 11, 2017 5:01pm
 They have been only seven crashes between cars and deer so far this year, compared to 63 in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
They have been only seven crashes between cars and deer so far this year, compared to 63 in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

STATEN ISLAND — The mayor's efforts to neuter deer might not win him any points from the animal kingdom, but the act has reduced the number of crashes between them and cars.

Speaking at an unrelated press conference Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio touted an 89 percent drop in deer-related car crashes around the borough so far this year — seven this year, down from 63 at the same point last year — which coincides with the city launching its plan to sterilize deer to curb their population.

"Maybe the deer are not happy about our particular strategic approach," de Blasio said. "But that's an example where some of these policies are really working for Staten Island."

Last year, the city started a $2 million effort to neuter Staten Island's male white-tailed deer population to potentially reduce the population by 10 to 30 percent.

Since they started, the city gave vasectomies to 78 fawns and 642 adults around the borough, a spokesman for the Parks Department said. The city will resume the vasectomies in August.

Aside from the sterilization, the city is also using other non-lethal methods to deal with the animals including public education campaigns aimed at reducing car crashes and tick-borne illnesses.

The Department of Transportation also added its first deer crossing signs around the borough in 2015.

A 2014 aerial survey on parkland found 762 of the animals — up from just 24 in 2008. The most recent survey in 2016 for the entire borough found only 527 of the animals, the Staten Island Advance reported.