WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Some residents in Williamsville say they're concerned about the safety of the deer population around the Williamsville Cemetery.
Anyone in Amherst can tell you there are plenty of deer in town, but the way some of them are dying on one particular fence has raised concern.
An iron-spiked fence surrounds the Williamsville Cemetery and some deer are getting hung up on as they try to jump over it.
Animal Allies of WNY founder Morgan Dunbar said, "It's low enough where they believe that they can clear it, and many of the older animals are able to clear it no problem. It's the younger ones, it's the old, sick ones, and also one of the last animals to be impaled on this fence was a pregnant doe. It's a lot different than getting hit by a car."
Dunbar asked the Amherst Police how often it happens. Police sent her a letter stating that their records show it has happened five times in the past nine years. A village administrator says she has no reason to believe that it happens anymore than that. She says when public works is notified to remove a deer here, police are notified as well.
We picked one random door to knock on near the cemetery, and the neighbor told us what he had to say about deer dying on this fence.
Mark Beatty said, "About four or five times a year, if not more." Adding, the last time was, "Right over here about two, two and a half weeks ago. They usually hang there on their back legs."
This issue came up five years ago, and Forest Lawn, which operates the cemetery hired, an engineer to make the fence safer to deer, but the Williamsville Historic Preservation Board voted against it unanimously because the fence was historic.
Forest Lawn Cemetery president Joseph Dispenza said, "Clearly, emphatically, Forest Lawn is under a directive from the village not to do it."
Williamsville Mayor Mary Lowther says there is no formal request to change the fence, but Tuesday night at 7 p.m., the Preservation Board will at least discuss it. Many neighbors of the cemetery plan to be there as well.
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