MEDIA RELEASE: Actor Peter Coyote Speaks Out for Tule Elk of Point Reyes National Seashore

MEDIA RELEASE: Actor Peter Coyote Speaks Out for Tule Elk of Point Reyes National Seashore

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2022) — Actor Peter Coyote has added his famous voice — and his passion for justice — to the ethical cause of freeing the wild Tule elk from their deadly, fenced confinement at California’s Point Reyes National Seashore. In a new video, he joins In Defense of Animals in calling for the removal of commercial cattle ranches from this national park unit which lethally confines and kills hundreds of the vulnerable elk.

Watch: Peter Coyote Speaks Out For Tule Elk


“In Defense of Animals is honored and thrilled to have Peter Coyote add his strong voice — and big heart — to our campaign to free the wild Tule elk trapped inside Point Reyes National Seashore,” says Jack Gescheidt, Tule Elk Consultant for In Defense of Animals. “We hope Peter Coyote’s support will encourage The National Park Service to restore policies that protect the lives of wild animals, not the profits of big business. Help the elk by sharing Peter’s video on social media, and joining our campaign at"

Coyote’s deep voice is instantly recognizable, adding gravitas to many documentary films, most famously those by PBS documentarian Ken Burns. He is known for having the courage to take a public stance on environmental and social justice issues — like protecting wild animals from abuse and death at the hands of private cattle operations.

“Hundreds of these magnificent animals have died slow, withering deaths from starvation and thirst,” Coyote explains in his appearance in In Defense of Animals’ public service announcement.

The National Park Service allows the elk to be confined with miles of wire fences only to benefit private dairy and beef operations in the park, even though the land belongs to the public.  

In his narration, Coyote highlights the extreme plight faced by the largest of three Tule elk herds at the Seashore, “An 8-foot-tall, 3-mile-long fence prevents elk from reaching more food and water. It was built for cattle ranchers leasing land in the park.”

There are two pending lawsuits against the National Park Service, one focused specifically on this brutal treatment of wild animals who are suffering and dying under pro-cattle industry management policies.

In addition, millions of pounds of cow manure are the largest source of land and water pollution at Point Reyes every year. This massive contamination of the national park is extensively documented by an investigative journalist in a Nov. 16 article, “The befouling of Point Reyes National Seashore.”

In Defense of Animals continues its lobbying and public awareness campaign to change the federal policies created for Point Reyes National Seashore by the National Park Service, under political pressure of cattle lobbyists, with the support of California’s Congressman Jared Huffman and Sen. Diane Feinstein. 

In Defense of Animals is grateful to Peter Coyote for his willingness to speak out against corporate polluters, and for protecting our precious and dwindling wild animals and wild places.


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Contact: Jack Gescheidt, Tule Elk Consultant for In Defense of Animals,, 415-488-4200

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-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, and rural Mississippi.


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