This petition is in response to Teatown Nature Preserve's plan to kill its deer residents while deliberately avoiding non-lethal, humane methods.
Teatown is a nature 'preserve;' for them to conduct a deer slaughter is completely contrary to the concept and spirt of the word 'preserve.' Teatown has several programs specifically directed at teaching children about nature - a secretive nighttime slaughter only teaches children how to be bullies and kill your way out of a problem. Teatown has a million-dollar budget and many influential corporate sponsors, including Pepsico, Goldman Sachs and Microsoft; they have ample funding to institute a birth control program as has been done in Hastings, NY and Fire Island - a program they are fully aware of but simply chose to ignore, making a scurrilous and arbitrary choice to kill them instead, the least ethical, least responsible choice a 'preserve' could make. Encouraged by the DEC, which will gladly kill any bird or animal if the correct amount of money is provided, this slaughter was never discussed with members and donors, many of whom have commented on their unhappiness with it:
'What an antithesis of the mission statement of a nature preserve! For years myself and so many others have supported Teatown-No more!'
'As a supporter of Teatown for nearly 30 years, I am stunned and disappointed by their decision as to how to address the deer "problem". Somehow , I fail to understand and resent the fact that my donations and fees are being used to kill rather than preserve our wildlife...I'm sure that ,morally, whatever expense , for deer "birth control", would be approved by the many Teatown supporters. Possibly, until the birth control methods yield it's desired results, a program of ,at least minimal, food maintainence could be provided. We must realize that the deer were here long before we were, as were their natural preditors, since we have eliminated their preditors, and reduced their natural habitat, we, morally, should not assume the roll of their preditor but employ a more humane resolution to the problem that we have caused.'
'Leave the deer alone. Spend, spend, spend. Teatown asks for donations all of the time, no more now.'
The fact is, according to several studies, deer kills do not keep numbers down. When deer numbers are reduced after killing programs, the remaining females will often respond by giving birth to twins or triplets. Fawns also have highter survival rates and earlier onset of sexual maturity. (HSUS, 'Why Deer Killing Programs Don’t Solve Problems with Deer')
Please sign this petition and circulate it to as many people as you can, asking Teatown to cancel their needless, cruel and dangerous slaughter, and utilize only humane, non-lethal methods as befitting an organization of its stated mission. Wildlife is being scapegoated and brutalized all over the country; it is unacceptable to perform such outrageous killing at a 'nature preserve' as well. Here of all places we should be creating a model for peaceful co-existence with wildlife.
Another article about this controversy, with an excellent, compassionate and intelligent video on the birth control effort elsewhere: The author states, 'Some of the deer will be shot dead. Others will likely suffer excruciating wounds. Bellowing in agony, they would flee their tormentors, wind up on up on the lawns of homes in the vicinity of Teatown where they could suffer slow death. Impressionable children could be exposed to these horrific sights.'
Thank you for your concern and your help!