A FURIOUS Killarney businessman who discovered the rotting carcasses of two deer on Innisfallen Island, at the weekend, has urged the National Parks and Wildlife Service to get its act together and to protect the integrity of the park.
He was horrified when he arrived on the island on Friday to find two groups of tourists, on a sightseeing trip of the lakes, standing over the dead deer very close to the landing pier.
The man, who asked for his name to be withheld, said there was an stomach-churning stench in several parts of the island and there wasn’t a blade of grass to be found to prevent other deer from starving to death.
“This is nothing short of a disgrace and those responsible for making these decisions should be ashamed of themselves. If a farmer did anything like that he would be severely punished,” said the tourism industry businessman who sent photographs of what he discovered to KillarneyToday.com.
“I know there’s a cull going on but the very least they could do is remove the carcasses when they’ve shot the animals rather than leaving them to rot for every man, woman and child arriving on Innisfallen to see,” he said.
“Would it be too much to ask them to take away the remains or would it be too much to ask them to bring out a bale of hay to prevent deer from starving while they are culling others?”.
He said the minister with responsibility for the national parks should act immediately to ensure the cull is done properly and professionally and, the businessman added, Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, given his responsibility for tourism, should also intervene in the matter.
A deer cull on Innisfallen commenced on March 28 following shock revelations that animals were starving to death on the historic monastic site.
The matter was brought to public attention by Killarney councillor John Joe Culloty who was shocked by the gruesome sight he discovered at the popular tourist attraction.
He found four dead and rotting Sika deer at various locations on the island with other starving, emaciated animals wandering around with no fodder in sight. Judging by the condition and stench from the dead deer, it appeared that they had been there for a number of weeks, he said.
The Killarney councillor estimated that there were between 30 and 40 deer, not in good health, on the island and, for their own sake, they need to be culled as it is the most humane thing to do.
“I’m not an expert on this but, unfortunately, the experts don’t seem to be doing what they should be doing,” he complained.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service claimed the island is visited regularly and inspected by expert ecologists. A comprehensive deer population survey was conducted in 2016 and a cull started some weeks ago.
A family with young children visiting Killarney from Cork also contacted KillarneyToday.com two weeks ago to complain of the sickening sight that awaited them on a boat trip to Innisfallen.
The mother said there was a dead deer clearly visible on the ground on a pathway and, close by, there was a deep pool of blood which looked fresh.
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