MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) – The company hired by Mount Lebanon commissioners to reduce the local deer population is ending the project early.

Wildlife specialists blamed the lack of snow and cold weather, protestors trespassing in posted trapping areas, and sabotage of some deer corrals as major reasons for the program’s termination.

The controversial culling program also got off to a late start; it was three weeks behind schedule when it began March 10.

Only six deer were killed.

Wildlife specialists had hoped to trap and euthanize as many as 150 animals by the end of March.

Reacting to the early termination of the program, Katherine Deneke, of Mount Lebanon, said, “I’m happy it’s over. I honestly felt it was inhumane.”

Cori Vipperman, representing a group in favor of culling deer herds locally, says her group’s fight is not over.

“We’re going to continue to ask the commissioners for action,” said Vipperman. “The deer problem is not going away because the program has ended. Oh no, the deer problem is going to get worse.”

She also says Mount Lebanon should look to neighboring communities like Upper St. Clair where deer management has been going on for years with no real controversy.

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Ralph Iannotti