A group of Wheeling residents have filed a lawsuit to stop Oglebay Park from hosting a deer culling.

Oglebay is planning an Urban Deer Culling at their resort on November 6-8 to curb the rapidly growing deer population within West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle region.

Wheeling Attorney Teresa Toriseva filed the petition claiming that the lawsuit makes no attempt to stop the hunting of wild animals in West Virginia, nor does it attempt to stop all future public hunts at Oglebay.

” This lawsuit is about a beloved local, municipal park resorting to a public hunt of a tame
deer herd within the park boundaries when the park executives have no scientific basis for the
perceived overpopulation of deer, have made no attempts to stop the reason the deer are tame, and have marketed and benefitted from the hand-feeding of the deer herd. Both baiting and hand-feeding are illegal on public land in West Virginia to prevent the very problem created here,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims that Oglebay deer are part of the public property and have been hand-fed by locals and tourists, making the deer tame. Toriseva mentions WV Code in the lawsuit which says it’s illegal to bait or feed any wildlife on public land at any time.

Oglebay said in their press release that they are hosting the deer culling to curb the rapidly growing deer population but the lawsuit claims there is no scientific support from the West Virginia DNR that claims the herd at Oglebay Resort is 5 times the regional average per square mile.

The lawsuit also mentions Dr. Karl E. Yurko, a veterinarian, who operates an animal
hospital that touches Oglebay Park property. Toriseva says Dr. Yurko reviewed the facts of the case and has agreed that the hunt is premature. It also states that Dr. Yurko will testify as an expert if needed at a hearing set by the Court.

Cynthia Hubbard, Patricia Fahey, Leslie Kusic, Sam Kusic, Betsy Joseph, Michael Alvarez, Marilyn Rasz, Anita VanDyne, Peggy McClure, Joanna Merriman, Mary Ellen Bennett, Carole Wack, Jill Jebbia and Sherry Tweedlie are all named in the lawsuit against Oglebay Park, the Oglebay Park Foundation and the Wheeling Park Commission.

7News reached out to Oglebay for a statement regarding the lawsuit but has yet to hear back at this time.