LONGUEUIL, QUE. -- Police on Montreal's South Shore have opened an investigation after Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent received at least one threat over the city's decision to kill some 15 white-tailed deer that live in Michel-Chartrand Park.

Longueuil police (SPAL) spokesperson Melanie Mercille said that the threat was deemed sufficiently serious for a police investigation to be undertaken.

Mercille was unable to specify the nature of the threats on Thursday morning. She said, however, that police protection should be provided to Parent if necessary.

The City of Longueuil has decided to euthanize the white-tailed deer due to the overpopulation of deer in the Michel-Chartrand Park. She also promised that the animals' meat would be distributed to food banks.

Municipal authorities say that this overpopulation threatens the future of the park due to the very low regeneration of the forest and the fragile animal and plant biodiversity.

There is also an increased risk of traffic accidents near the park and Lyme disease transmissions. There was also damage to area properties.

The City of Longueuil says it has tried to find solutions with the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. There are significant drawbacks to relocating deer, such as transferring the problem to another region and increasing the risk of disease by adding animals from another environment.

Moving the animals would also add stress to deer during capture and transport, which can lead to their death.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2020.