Deer and other animals are under official attack. But communities can push back. Wednesday’s meeting at the Chestnut Hill Free Library of Philadelphia, 8711 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia 19118 will begin at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in helping this new group or learning about changing perspectives on deer is invited.

Jim Harris reported in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill Local this week:
Mary Ann Baron, whose Chestnut Hill home borders the Wissahickon Park, calls her friend Bridget Irons every year when the deer kill in the Wissahickon is about to begin”¦Although the public was initially told that the “cull” would be a one-time-only event, it has continued from 2001 to the present, with no signs of stopping.

“The deer are being blamed for disturbing the park biosphere, when people are by far more impactful,” insists Mary Ann. “It’s the humans who are out of control, not the deer.”

Ms. Baron, who is a past president of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Counselors Association, thinks that turning a blind eye to the killing in our park is itself a kind of mental health issue. “A lot of folks drive green cars and live in green houses, yet think nothing about the inhumane treatment of wildlife right in their own back yard…”

When they noticed that a deer hunt in Valley Forge Park had been at least temporarily stopped by the group “Friends of Animals” (FoA), they contacted Lee Hall, FoA’s VP of Legal Affairs, and the result is a cooperative venture called Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer (PAD). They will be having their first public meeting at the Chestnut Hill Library on Wednesday, June 2. According to Mary Ann, “Volunteers are needed to write, research, recruit, do political and membership outreach, and publicize our ideas and motives. We are seeking folks to help organize and run PAD as a collaborative effort. It will be a cooperative venture committed to the long-term ecological health of Philadelphia parks, and respect for indigenous animals.”

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