About 60 female deer in Oak Bay have been given a contraceptive vaccine as part of an innovative project to cut down on the black-tailed deer population.

The municipality and the province are funding the urban-deer-management research project administered by the Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society, which formed after a deer cull there in 2015.

Complaints about deer damaging gardens, disrupting traffic, attacking people and pets, and unease about killing deer, led to the contraception effort, though it's not known if the vaccine that's been used in horses is effective in deer.

The province and the municipality have each contributed $20,000 for the project, which involved the society trapping and vaccinating 60 does in September, with booster shots expected this week and next. 

On Oct. 1, the province announced that it would be matching municipal funding into urban deer management programs, so long as the projects were approved by the Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee.

One day after the announcement was made, a scooter rider was taken to hospital after colliding with a minivan that had allegedly swerved to avoid a deer that was crossing a road in Saanich. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2019.