Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $3.3 million plan to cut down Staten Island’s deer herd by giving the animals vasectomies is already $334,770 over budget because there are more horny white-tailed males than expected.
The city snipped 1,154 bucks since the program began in September 2016 and officials aren’t entirely sure how many more need to go under the knife.
The first year of the project cost $2.35 million and 720 bucks got vasectomies, the department said. But White Buffalo asked for an extra $334,770 on top of the $634,650 already budgeted for the second year. The third and final year was originally budgeted $314,000, but the city is assessing if even more is needed.
In 2008, the state estimated just 24 deer called Staten Island home. Now White Buffalo thinks the number is 80 times that – with between 1,917 and 2,189 deer roaming the borough.
Outside wildlife experts have long suspected the vasectomy effort would be another de Blasio boondoggle.
They have argued female deer will ... go into heat repeatedly throughout fall and winter ... if Staten Island bucks are sterilized.
And these randy does will still emit a powerful scent to attract males – including potential mates from New Jersey who haven’t been snipped and can swim over.
“Even if a small number of males immigrate on the island or a small number are missed, it’s easy to see how quickly females can start breeding again,” said Paul Curtis, a Cornell University deer expert who consulted City Hall on a task force before the vasectomy plan was chosen.
“Definitely it’s a lot of money,” Curtis said of the project’s growing cost. “You can spend millions, in Staten Island’s case, up front, but if you don’t have a plan for the future the deer will quickly reproduce again.”
Any "plan for the future" for reducing the deer herd presently overwhelming the island has to involve killing Bambi and his friends, but de Blasio, forced to choose between residents furious over the damage the deer herd is causing and a statewide collection of so-called friends of animals, went with the latter. He may claim now to be surprised at the failure of his ridiculous plan, but any soda jerk (if they still existed) could have told him he was embarked on a fool's journey, and a band of experts actually did.
But there was an election coming up.