Philly parks to close earlier for annual deer cull

From Dec. 1 to March 31, the city’s larger parks will all be off limits from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., during the annual effort to keep the deer population stable.

 (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

Starting next month, a number of Philadelphia’s big parks will be closing earlier than usual as the city undertakes its annual “deer control activities.”

From Dec. 1 to March 31, Wissahickon Park, East and West Fairmount Park, Cobbs Creek Park, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Tacony Creek Park, Poquessing Creek Park, Bartram’s Garden and Pennypack Park will all be off limits from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The city Department of Parks and Recreation made the announcement Friday.

Every year since 1999, the city has culled a certain number of deer from its parks in an effort to keep their population stable. Too many deer can wreak havoc on forests and cause car accidents.

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In 2018, more than 300 deer were removed from Philadelphia parks, and the city donated some 7,000 pounds of venison to food banks.

The park closures affect all trails, parking lots and other public areas, and are intended to keep people safe as the deer cull is in progress.

The annual project is undertaken by biologists and professional sharpshooters, who then transport the deer out of the parks.

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