During the last week, we have made a conscious effort to regularly check on the Sanctuary Park at night. Some nights, we were there two times. We were also checking the animal tracks around the park in early morning hours.
Based on our observations, we now can, with a high degree of confidence and accuracy, publish the following findings:
Just like earlier in January, during the last seven days, the deer continue to consistently avoid the grounds of the Sanctuary Park. They don’t enter the park. They have completely stopped approaching it. They cannot be seen directly. There are no tracks leading into or out of the park’s grounds. There is no evidence of their presence or movement in the vicinity of the park, such as tracks, droppings, dugged out grass, or chewed off bark.
This is quite unusual and very different from the situation in previous years.
There are two separate reasons for this drastic change in the deer’s habits and behaviour.
Firstly, it’s the ice rink itself. It is huge, it has high snow banks around it. It has altered the physical landscape of the fields on which the deer used to feed in the past.
Secondly, there are the new lights. In the past, after the sunset, the area was dark. The deer felt safe and protected while feeding in the soccer fields. Darkness provided the only cover available tp them in the open space.
This winter, the situation is exactly opposite. There are three strong, artificial lights that cover the entire central and eastern part of the park, as well as part of the western soccer field. The lights are very bright. Considering the excellent night vision of the deer, the lights must have a strong blinding effect on them. As a result, the deer are visible from far away, but cannot see what is going on around them. This is why they feel insecure and avoid the park alltogether.