Twenty wildlife and national park protectors recently defied National Park Service (NPS) orders for a second time and risked getting arrested while participating in a bold, carefully planned, nighttime operation to bring 150 gallons of water to the Tule elk. The move follows the tragic passing of more than 18 Tule elk this year who died in the reserve at Point Reyes National Seashore due to California’s drought.
As previously reported by WAN, the animals are blocked from reaching perennial sources by an eight-foot-tall fence. The action took place before the winter rains came, but were thwarted by the NPS which removed troughs before the thirsty Tule elk could drink.
“The actions of the National Park Service speak loud and clear: private ranching business is favored over public opinion and the lives of native wild animals at Point Reyes National Seashore,” Fleur Dawes of In Defense of Animals said in an email sent to WAN. “Removing water from thirsty and dying rare Tule elk is despicable. Bay Area residents overwhelmingly want these native wild animals protected over private interests. We support the merciful actions of these brave animal activists and urge everyone to take urgent action to save the Tule elk.”
Video recorded by Silver Reaction Media shows a peaceful but physically demanding action with over a dozen animal advocates hauling water hundreds of yards over rough terrain and in coastal fog.
Off-camera, others kept watch, signaling any arrival of sheriff and park rangers. They were quiet, using minimal light, so park visitors, rangers, and live-in ranchers would remain unaware of the groups actions. However, the video shows that rangers discovered the activists, confronted them, and vowed to remove the water.
Concerned citizens had previously delivered fresh drinking water and troughs to the elk, only to have it taken away within days by NPS staff. The NPS’ refusal to provide water for these elk is a disturbing repeat of the similar “forced die-off” that the agency created in the California drought of 2013-2014, which killed around half of the nation’s largest herd of 540 Tule elk. It has taken years for the herd to recover to just 420 individuals today.
This year, the NPS not only refused to act again but deliberately removed water from hundreds of animals trapped in the unnatural elk reserve enclosure. The needless suffering and deaths of the elk are among the numerous, egregious, anti-wildlife, and pro-industry policies that park rangers are required to enforce at the Seashore.
Currently, over a third of the Point Reyes Park’s so-called “wilderness area” is occupied by modern industrial animal businesses which supply beef and milk to brands including Clover Sonoma, Straus Family Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery.
Despite widespread public opposition, in September, the NPS released a management plan that would extend these private beef and dairy leases to ranchers from five-years to 20-years. In addition to expanding industrial operations inside this national park, they will allow the shooting of native Tule elk.
Ranchers supplying these dairy companies do not own the Point Reyes land that their cattle degrades and pollutes. They sold their properties to the federal government for the equivalent of $350 million in the 1960’s to establish the park, and now lease back the land at under-market rates. Maintenance on the concentrated animal feeding operations is funded by taxpayers.
“The 340+ miles of fencing, erected only at the request of the commercial cattle operations, is a direct contradiction of a national park’s purpose: being one of the few places in America where our priceless heritage of precious few remaining wild animals are safe from threats of hunting, development, and businesses,” stated Jack Gescheidt, of TreeSpirit Project.
People are urged to email their concerns to the California Coastal Commission encouraging them to REJECT the National Park Service’s recommended management plan which expands this National Seashore’s cruel beef and dairy operations at the expense of its wildlife.
A suspected rhino poacher was found trampled to death in Kruger National Park after colliding with a herd of elephant as he fled from park rangers. Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa is home to a majority of the world’s remaining rhinos, making it…
In a victory for wildlife in New Mexico, WildEarth Guardians settled its lawsuit against USDA’s Wildlife Services after the federal program agreed to stop its reckless slaughter of native wildlife such as: black bears, cougars, foxes, and even endangered Mexican gray wolves, on all federal public lands. It…
A kitten with bent front legs grew to be the happiest cat with a big personality. Lisa the kitten with bent pawsAnna Dickerson-Homan @kittenfactory A pint-sized kitten was found in a horse barn along with her sibling. They were covered in fleas and dirt and…
A small pit bull mix is a hero after saving her owner from a knife attack and attempted robbery. According to local news station Basildon Canvey Southend Echo, Amy Edmondson was walking her dog named Star on April 5. During her late-night outing, the 3o-year-old…