Deer Threaten Wildlife Park Animals

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) _ The deer population is so dense in one suburban Kansas City park that it could pose a threat to other wildlife, the ecosystem and the health of people who visit the park.

Shawnee Mission Park spans about 1,280 acres and is part of two suburbs in Johnson County, the state's most populous county. Wildlife officials say that is possibly the highest deer density in the country.

Lloyd Fox is big-game program coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. He says the park has 200 deer per square mile. He says the closest anyplace else in Kansas comes to that is 33 per square mile on land owned by the University of Kansas.

Also thriving is the population of ticks, which can carry diseases harmful to deer and humans.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)