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Assemblyman Says Warning Signs Are Needed As Staten Island Deer Population Booms

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- There has been a population explosion on Staten Island, but we're not talking about people, we're talking about deer.

As CBS 2's Scott Rapoport reported, the surge has created problems for drivers and at least one lawmaker.

"This is a large problem," Assemblyman Joe Borelli, said.

Borelli was referencing the explosion in the deer population on Staten Island.

"You'd think you were in the Adirondacks. that's how many deer there are now. It's amazing," West Brighton resident Tom Cuffe said.

The buck stops here, with deer popping up in parks, schools, on the road, and virtually everywhere else.

Borelli said that in 2008 the Department of Environmental Conservation counted only 24 deer on the island.

Now, according to an aerial study done by the New York City Parks department, there are 793. Borelli says the deer are causing problems, especially on the roads.

There have been three automobile accidents in one spot on Hylan Boulevard, by Mount Loretto, involving cars crashing into deer, Borelli said.

"The problem is there's not enough warning signs to let people know in certain areas, that deer have a habit of crossing here," Borelli said.

He is now calling for the Department of Transportation to put up deer crossing signs on city streets to warn motorists of deer in the area.

"It's crazy that the parks department will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on an aerial infra-red study with helicopters, and another agency won't spend $50 to put up a couple of signs on the same stretch of road," he said.

It's an idea that some on Staten Island would like the DOT to consider.

"Then you know there are deer coming from inside the woods," Ralph Esposito said.

A DOT spokesperson told CBS 2 that the department will look at the study and decide if there are any appropriate measures to be taken.

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