MEDIA RELEASE: 3 Celebrities Join Public Comments Drive to Free Tule Elk at Point Reyes National Park

MEDIA RELEASE: 3 Celebrities Join Public Comments Drive to Free Tule Elk at Point Reyes National Park

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE, Calif. (June 4, 2024) — Actors Kaley Cuoco, Lily Tomlin, and Alexandra Paul have joined In Defense of Animals’ campaign soliciting public comments before June 5 supporting the National Park Service’s (NPS) plan to finally free the Tule elk of Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Last June, the NPS proposed removing the deadly Tule Elk Reserve fence as part of a long National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Alternative B would dismantle the fence to free the park’s largest herd of these magnificent animals from their 2,600-acre fenced area, allowing them to access more food and water in all 71,000 acres of Point Reyes.

Actor Kaley Cuoco, beloved for her role in The Big Bang Theory and a native Californian just like the Tule elk, is using her platform to champion elk freedom. She said, “It's time to free this largest herd of vulnerable Tule elk from a deadly “reserve,” by removing its 8-foot-tall, 3-mile-long, barrier fence in Point Reyes National Seashore. The National Park Service recommends this fence be removed but In Defense of Animals needs support to make this actually happen. We need your help to end the Tule elk’s suffering.”


Lily Tomlin, the iconic comic renowned for her roles in Grace and Frankie and 9 to 5, continues her long-standing commitment to animals by advocating for the Tule elk. She said, “Point Reyes National Seashore has a historic opportunity, right now, to finally free its largest herd of rare, vulnerable Tule elk... Join me and In Defense of Animals and urge the National Park Service to finally remove the fence and end Tule elk suffering and dying.”

Alexandra Paul, acclaimed actress and dedicated animal activist, known for Baywatch, is lending her voice once again to the fight for Tule elk freedom. She adds, “Imagine being trapped behind an 8-foot-tall fence, your freedom just out of reach. We have the power to change this. I’m working with In Defense of Animals to persuade the National Park Service to remove this deadly fence. Join us in this vital cause to liberate the Tule elk and restore their rightful home.” 

These three renowned women amplify In Defense of Animals’ years-long campaign to save these vulnerable Tule elk trapped in the drought-stricken Reserve, and to restore their access to the entire national park habitat. 

Cattle ranching and hunting pushed the formerly numerous elk to the brink of extinction in the mid-1800s. From a small remaining population in central California, just ten Tule elk were reintroduced into Point Reyes in 1978. The species remains rare, with fewer than 6,000 individuals alive in the world today.

Tule elk are confined at Point Reyes at the request of private dairy and beef cow ranchers, who lease public land in the park at low, cut-rate prices subsidized by an unwitting public. Their outsized political influence has corrupted the mission of the NPS, which is mandated to prioritize wildlife and wildlands, not the business interests and private profits of cattle operations. 

Cattle ranches are also the Seashore’s leading cause of land degradation and water contamination from millions of pounds of cow manure and air pollution every year. 

“We are so grateful to Lily Tomlin, Kaley Cuoco, and Alexandra Paul, for lending their powerhouse support to the beloved, fur-bearing celebrities of Point Reyes, the Tule elk,” said Jack Gescheidt, Tule elk consultant for In Defense of Animals. “Time is of the essence. If you care about the Tule elk, wild animals, and pollution-free national parks, write your comment to the National Park Service right away. Help us free the Tule elk, and remove the destructive cattle operations.”

In Defense of Animals is urging the public to use this public comment period to tell the NPS to remove the Seashore’s thousands of private cows, in addition to the elk fence. Hundreds of miles of additional wire fences remain in the park to serve the cattle businesses, which block the public from accessing 28,000 acres of Point Reyes, fully one-third of the park.

Years of relentless activism and demonstrations hosted by In Defense of Animals and other organizations have successfully pressured the NPS to reconsider a 45-year-old policy that favors private dairy and beef interests over the health and wellbeing of the park’s Tule elk.  

Over 700 Tule elk are in the park today. 475 individuals have died in the last decade from seasonal drought and famine inside the fenced Elk Reserve on Tomales Point at northernmost Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Join Alexandra Paul, Lily Tomlin and Kaley Cuoco by sending a written comment to the NPS by Wednesday, June 5:



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Contact: Jack Gescheidt, In Defense of Animals,, 415-488-4200 (no texts).

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California, and rural Mississippi.



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