April 2nd, 2013 by Anja Heister
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEanja@idausa.org; Ph: (406) 549.6663
In Defense Of Animals Calls Deer Slaughter In Rock Creek Park A Predictable Failure
Washington, D.C. (April 2, 2013) – In Defense of Animals (IDA) says that the killing of 20 deer in Rock Creek Park was a tragic and mistaken strategy.
Contrary to the National Park Service’s (NPS) stated goal of killing 120 deer, the NPS says sharpshooters killed 20 deer from March 28 to March 30. Although they had said the killing would not commence until fall, the nighttime attack was announced the same day it began, presumably to preempt protest. A vigil by local deer advocates was held on each of the killing days.
IDA and DC residents had proposed that the deer population be reduced by contraception. The NPS had committed to immunocontraception for deer on several sites in the past, but have yet to explain why they abandoned this effective and humane solution in our nation’s capital.
“The slaughter doesn’t make sense, no matter how many deer are killed” said Anja Heister, Director of IDA’s Wild and Free Habitats campaign. “The surviving deer will either have more offspring, or new deer will move in when the habitat becomes available. This is called compensatory reproduction,” says Heister, a biologist. “Whenever you lower the densities of deer, reproductive success increases, which is why killing doesn’t work. When killing is chosen as the ‘solution’, it is a never-ending bloodbath.”
The horror of the killing was made apparent when a nearby resident sent protesters a pathetic photo of an injured deer with a bloody wound, who likely escaped the killing inside the park and sought refuge in her yard. “This tragic incident is a good indication that our warnings about the inhumanity and futility of the NPS’ warlike killing operations were well-founded,” Heister added.
DC residents have said that if the NPS resumes killing deer, there will be a larger and noisier public protest. “In the interim,” Heister says, “we will do anything to prevent this pointless slaughter from happening again. It’s time to sit down and rethink this on the side of science and ethics, so that the goal of reducing the numbers succeeds in a humane way. That way, everybody wins and no one suffers.”