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There is a serious problem brewing in Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga. Over the past six months, I have watched hundreds of people bring their children to the park to feed the deer, which is prohibited. Our once-quiet park is now overflowing with screaming children and mounds of trash. This is especially brutal on weekends, yet no one ever enforces the "no feeding" policy. Of course, this overfeeding contributes to the already out-of-control deer population.

I was actually hit by food that people had instructed their child to throw at the deer. Instead of being apologetic, they were angry because I was interfering with their child's pleasure. I have also seen children and teens harass the animals as their parents lamely look on.

Recently, we found three dead deer in the park. The Department of Environmental Conservation came in and determined that these deer were used as target practice. Someone found it amusing to stand one carcass up against a tree and "pose" it.

This is not a petting zoo. These creatures are more than just a novelty for children to throw an apple at. Residents shouldn't have to tolerate these conditions, and neither should the animals that call this park home.



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