Botanical Gardens culls rose-eating deer

The management at the Botanical Gardens at Meise in Flemish Brabant has had around 10 deer that lived in the rounds of the gardens shot because they were eating up some of its unique collection of flowers and plants. The gardens’ rose garden was a particular favourite among deer looking for something tasty to eat. With its rose garden seriously damaged, those in charge of running the Botanical Gardens decided that it was time to act and a hunter was given the task of culling the deer. 

“We initially tried various methods to protect the plants from the deer, but nothing helped”, the Botanical Gardens’ Koen Es told VRT News. Mr Es added that “It’s a problem that we have had for many years.

The deer population has gradually become too large for the gardens and our plant collection had started to suffer as a result”. Nothing appeared save from the hungry deer. Rhododendrons and the gardens’ new rose garden were eaten by the deer.

"We have tried out many measures to scare off the animals. Physical barriers, noise and aromas, but nothing worked. We then went to the Woodland and Nature Agency for advice and they recommended hunting them down”, Mr Es added.

However, Michel Vandenbosch of the animal rights group GAIA says that hunting down and killing the deer won’t provide a lasting solution to the Botanical gardens’ issues with deer eating its plants. Mr Vandenbosch told VRT News “The deer will continue to return.

The population will simply increase again and the deer will return and we’re back to square one”. Michel Vandenbosch calls on the Botanical Gardens to invest in descent fencing to keep the deer off its plants.