ST. GEORGE — A $2.5 million deer fencing and underpass project designed to protect wildlife and traffic east of Kanab on U.S. Route 89 was undermined when six holes in the fencing were cut big enough to allow vehicles to drive through.
The holes allowed at least 15 deer to find their way onto the highway leading to six collisions that resulted in deer fatalities and damage to vehicles, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Last year was the first that no deer collisions were reported in that area since the project was completed, according to a statement on the DNR website.
“While the reason the individuals cut the fence is unknown, we do know the area is a popular shed antler hunting location,” the statement reads. “Whatever the reason, this selfish act damaged expensive infrastructure, hurt the deer population for which the infrastructure was created and could have been the direct cause of an accident resulting in injury or death.”