Vigil Saturday, 12 Noon - 10 pm - Don't Kill Rock Creek Park Deer
- Today, Saturday, March 30, 2103, from 12 noon to 10 pm, we're holding our fourth Vigil to protest the ongoing and unprecedented killing of native deer from Rock Creek National Park in Washington, DC. We'll be at the entrance to the Park on Military Road at Oregon Avenue NW. Please join us to protest the unnecessary killing that has been going on since Wednesday night in the Park. Deer killing will continue through Saturday night from 10 pm to 4 a.m.
We are standing with large and small signs on both sides of Military Road at the intersection of Oregon Avenue on the north side and Glover Road, NW on the south side. There is ample parking nearby. The weather will be mild, the sun will be out. We have signs for you to hold if you don't have any to bring.
See today's front page Washington Post story on our protests since Wednesday when the killing was announced for that night:
Please join our vigil as we show the National Park Service and the world it is not okay to kill deer in our Nation's Capital in a Park that was created to provide sanctuary for people and wildlife. There are only about 300 deer in Rock Creek Park. Killing them doesn't work to control the population. More will take the place of the ones gone. Contraception is the answer in 21st Century America. We have the science to do this. The Park Service must lead by example -- killing never solves anything.
Sign our Petition and join nearly 5,000 people who are protesting this unnecessary violence toward deer in our Nation's Capital:
Please spread the word and join our Vigil Saturday, March 30 from 12 noon to 10 pm. We are determined to prevail so there will never again be any more deer killed in Rock Creek National Park!
For those who love the deer but think being shot over a bait station is okay, please consider these facts:
1. The Rock Creek Park's own investigation shows no malnutrition in the Park's deer herd. They are not starving.
2. There are humane, effective, safe, contraception methods that have been successfully used in other places including National Parks. These methods involve remote injection with a vaccine. There is no environmental release or exposure to other animals.
3. The Humane Society of the US has offered to do all the paper work, furnish the vaccine, train staff, and split the cost to use one of these methods in the park.
4. The National Park Service's bait-and-shoot approach is ineffective and will have to continue indefinitely. The park has plans for at least 15 years of it. Many communities have used this bait-and-shoot approach for 20 years or more with no apparent change in deer/vehicle collisions and garden damage. See: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-11-24/news/ct-x-n-deer-culling-20101124_1_deer-management-deer-population-deer-herds
5. The Agency that Rock Creek Park hired to do the killings is under investigation for a "culture of cruelty". See: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/12/animal-torture-abuse-called-regular-practice-within-federal-wildlife-agency/
6. Rock Creek Park would do well to target their admitted "number one problem", which is invasive plants that come from private properties bordering the Park. They have done very little to solve this problem in the last 20 years. Others have said the number one problem is storm water run-off. Either way, the 300 deer in this nearly five-square-mile park aren't the problem.
7. Lyme Disease is *not* carried by deer, but by small rodents such as mice and chipmunks. Deer have no more to do with the spread of the disease than many mammals that frequent our area such as possums, racoons, foxes, squirrels. Birds also are infected with these ticks. Deer do get many ticks but they kill the great majority of them through grooming. Therefore they tend to operate as a "sink" rather than a source of ticks. If hunters drastically reduce the number of deer, there may actually be more, not fewer, ticks to attack humans.
"While Lyme disease is often linked to deer management in the mind of the public because it is
transferred through the bite of the so-called deer tick (the new accepted name is the black-legged tick), it
is widely accepted that reducing deer numbers cannot effectively control the spread of the disease.
Black-legged ticks feed on many species of mammals and birds and most often pick up the disease by
feeding on infected mice and chipmunks, not deer." (Source: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/Natural_Resources_Stewardship/Living_with_wildlife/deer/documents/2013_deer-report.pdf Page 8)
Here's a scientific report showing that the incidence of Lyme Disease is not correlated to the presence of deer but to the absence of the red fox, a common mouse predator. The abstract is available at:
A fact sheet from a Howard County, MD group: http://www.animal-advocates.org/info/file?file=s81m5464.pdf
A fox news story: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/22/strange-events-will-lead-to-increase-lyme-disease/
Information from an expert on the ecology of vector borne diseases (like Lyme): http://www.caryinstitute.org/discover-ecology/podcasts/have-deer-gotten-false-rap-lyme-disease
Join our protest Saturday, March 30 and help protect the 300 native deer in Rock Creek National Park.
Mary Rowse and Anne Barton
Save the Rock Creek Park Deer