Elk Activists Spur National Park Service to Action

Elk Activists Spur National Park Service to Action

Thanks to thousands of animal activists who took action, the National Park Service has finally brought some water to Tule elk trapped behind fences at Point Reyes National Seashore during California’s ongoing drought — but only after thwarting activists’ attempts to deliver water to elk four separate times.

While this will provide relief to some of the hundreds of Tule elk fenced into drought-stricken land, the National Park Service (NPS)’s action falls far short of ending elk suffering and likely deaths by thirst and starvation this summer and autumn.

Three large water troughs fed by giant 2,000+ gallon tanks were placed in the southern end of the so-called Tule Elk “Reserve” at Tomales Point, yet none were placed in the northern end where separate sub-herds keep to their own territory. 

And no elk will be provided supplemental food — even though the NPS has for months insisted in its official statements that recent mass elk deaths — including 152 in 2020 — were due to inadequate food, not lack of water. In other words, after claiming the elk had enough water, but not enough food, the NPS brought in only water, but no food. 

The only real solution is to release elk from their fenced enclosure, and let them roam beyond their 2,600 acre, zoo-like enclosure, onto all 71,000 acres of Point Reyes National Seashore — free, as all wild animals in a national park should be. The only reason that elk are penned is because the powerful private, for-profit beef and dairy operations leasing public land at below-market prices demand it from the NPS. It’s a case of the tenant setting terms for its federal landlord.

But the NPS action is a public relations reaction to growing public awareness, proving that animal activism works. The growing public outcry over the cruel confinement and unnecessary deaths of these magnificent animals can’t be ignored.  

Your voice and your letters of support for beloved Tule elk imprisoned at this National Seashore just north of San Francisco are working! 

Still, there’s more to be done, and we won’t give up until the fencing confining these rare elk is taken down. 

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, the next big action to help Free the Tule Elk is 11am, Saturday, July 3rd, 2021, at the Tule Elk Reserve (cattleguard/fenceline entrance on Pierce Point Rd.) inside Point Reyes National Seashore in west Marin County, CA.

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