April 16th, 2014 by Anja Heister
Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. Becomes Brutal Killing Ground
Last week, we told you about the National Park Service (NPS) ordering thousands, if not tens of thousands of deer to die, violating its own mandate of “protecting wildlife” in national parks. The killing is done in secrecy at night by shooters with the USDA Wildlife Services. Over the last two winters, at least 126 white-tailed deer, who used to call Rock Creek Park their home, were first lured into bait stations and then shot by ruthless Wildlife Services agents.
Behind this sterile statistic lie individual tragedies, like the doe shown in the photo. On March 5, a dog walker discovered the doe near Ross Drive and Bounder Bridge in Rock Creek Park. The doe was suffering from what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the snout/nose area. Although we don’t know the exact source of the wounds, they appear consistent with a prior report of a wounded deer found last year in Montgomery County after so-called “sharp-shooters” clearly missed when shooting at the heads of the deer they were trying to kill, causing pronounced and prolonged suffering.
Given that deer were shot in Rock Creek Park during the previous week by Wildlife Services agents, it is reasonable to assume this deer was probably wounded by government shooters. If so, she may have suffered from her wounds for nearly a week before finally put out of her misery.
How many times do tragedies like this and the incident from last year occur? Nobody knows for sure, but it happens more often than not—either intentionally, given the fact that some hunters get a thrill out of shooting wildlife in their faces to watch them suffer, or as a side effect in brutal and unnecessary kill operations such as the one being conducted in Rock Creek Park.
IDA has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the National Park Service and USDA Wildlife Services to find out more about these crimes committed against innocent deer by these governmental agencies.
We’ll work to keep you updated on what we uncover.