NEWS FROM THE PARK
The National Park Service has donated 1,300 pounds of fresh venison to DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that prepares meals for shelters and transitional housing in the nation’s capital. The donation follows the “safe and successful removal of 36 deer” from Rock Creek Park, which essentially runs through the center of the city.
The federal agency says it “must balance the needs of all the animals and plants” in the 2,000-acre park, also home to foxes, coyotes, beavers and “the largest density of raccoons in the United States,” the agency says. The National Park Service notes that a deer population density of 15-20 per square mile results in “a healthy, diverse forest.” In the last three years, the agency has reduced the number from 80 per square mile to an estimated 19.
“Biologists, who are also highly trained firearms experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, work under the direction of National Park Service resource management specialists and in coordination with U.S. Park Police and local law enforcement to conduct reduction actions at night when the park is normally closed,” the agency noted.