In terms of wildlife sightings in Montreal, we're pretty limited to the occasional coyote, fox, or rabbit. If you count city critters, then we also have a flourishing herd of rats upon us. What we lack are larger animals residing in or around the city. To our surprise, someone is looking to change all of that. It's no joke when we say that Montreal's Mont-Royal might be getting a herd of deer.
TL;DR One Montreal-based Redditor has gone forward with plans to introduce deer onto Mont-Royal. Below is the angered responses from the rest of the city as well as Les Amis de la Montagne, the non-profit custodian of the Mount Royal Park.
The proposal was made in a Montreal subreddit. A user that goes by the online handle can1exy announced their desire to settle a group of deer onto the Mont-Royal forest.
Upon contacting this individual, we discovered that their dedication to the effort was due to their time spent in the Laurentians, a region with an abundance of wildlife. According to can1exy, while people would cherish any contact with these animals in the Laurentians, Montrealers are totally missing out.
The individual also believes a population of deer in the city would promote tourism for Montreal, which may be true. Most people wouldn't pass up the opportunity to witness a family of deer.
More importantly, what did the city think about this plan?
Well, it looks like most of us weren't too enthused with the idea, to say the least. Redditors quickly reacted to the post with concerns over the proposal:
"Why would you want to take deer out of the wild and force them into a city? It's just going to result in car accidents at night and the deer will end up looting people's gardens for food." - fluffhead514
"It's a f****** stupid idea. Bring it up to city council if you want, but you can't just waltz around delivering animals to places you think they will fit. Even if you're right, you don't have the authority to make that claim. I think the woods could support a Lynx or two and people would sure flock to see them but that doesn't make it anywhere near a good idea. Have you considered the impact on the vegtation? On the other wildlife? Deers have no natural predators on the Mont-Royal, how do you suggest their population be managed? Why do you think the deers would stay in the woods? They've been known to cross roads, y'know. Do you get off on roadkill or something? But hey when deers do show up there, at least you'll have given the authorities a lovely lead to follow!" - TenderPeaches
"as someone who has a shitload of deer on his property outside montreal, this is a bad idea on so many levels. A part from looking cute, they offer nothing of value to the ecosystem. They have no predators and thus the population would explode in no time. I am not sure you want more hunters on the island, let alone on the corner of Peel and Pine." - Prof_G
"Would you personally pick up their carcasses off the road, shovel their entrails and scrub their blood off the streets? They are wild animals, you can't make them "promise" to stay on Mount Royal, especially if you think it's a good idea for visitors to go looking for them to they can take pictures. Nothing would drive them out of the forest faster." - pattyG80
"The forest on Mount Royal is under constant stress from mountain bikers and careless hikers and so on. Deer nibble on young trees. Nope." - elzadra1
"Are you high or just naturally stupid?" - KevindeMontreal
Whether or not the initiative is a joke, we decided to see if this was at all feasible.
We took this opportunity to contact Les Amis de la Montagne to see what their opinion was on introducing deer to Mont-Royal's ecosystem. The response was not optimistic.
Some majors concerns include the surface area of Mont-Royal being insufficent to support the healthy population of deer. White-tailed deer can travel up to 2,435 hectares in the summer, while the woodlands on Mont-Royal is fewer than 100 hectares.
Not to mention the possibility of deer having to cross Montreal's major highways during their migrations. This would pose major danger to motorists and the animals. Even more dangerous is the threat to public health, as deer often contribute to the transmission of Lyme disease.
Overall, it seems like an idea that shouldn't be acted upon. Les Amis de la Montagne also warns that an individual doesn't have the power or authority to make such a decision anyways.
Well, someone should really tell that to the original Reddit poster, who claims to have moved forward with the plan already.
Can1exy reached out to us once more to announce that they have confirmed a transport service in the Laurentians that is prepared to capture and load white-tailed deer into a horse transporter and release them onto Mont-Royal as soon as possible.
Legal consequences are definitely a risk if the plan is achieved.
Stay tuned for any updates on the deer population being introduced to Montreal.