The creation of a deer park near Ogre started in 2004. Its aim was to create a genetically valuable population of deer and then release them into forests around Rīga.
'Rīga Forests' spokesman Jānis Ģērmanis said: "I have to say this goal has not been achieved. [..] The number of deer initially was too small to genetically develop so it had to be supplemented with animals of good genetic material." Since nobody was responsible for this, the deer had been mating arbitrarily and the genetic material had deteriorated.
Then, an idea was developed to use the park for educational purposes, but later scrapped because the deer were too difficult to observe.
Thus, the Rīga Forests management has come to a conclusion that the park requires a lot of investment but has no rational purpose. Solutions are sought how to get rid of it, but there has not been much success in this.
Nobody has expressed interest in buying the deer or hunting them; they cannot be kept in zoos as they are used to bigger territories whereas they would likely not survive in nature; hunters are not interested because forests are full of deer anyway.
Latvian Hunter Association spokesman Jānis Baumanis said: "This is in fact a farm [..]. The hay situation is poor this year, there will be many farms deciding to eliminate animals because there is no feed or it is too expensive. Here is a similar situation: this whole thing is too expensive, nobody wants to buy the animals, well, as harsh as it sounds, it [elimination] maybe is the only solution."
Commenting on nature friends' objections that elimination would be cruel, Baumanis said it was even more cruel to set the park up in the first place. At that time it was a fashion statement of sorts, but the consequences have to be fought now.