Sharpshooters have killed 600 white-tail deer since November as part of a 4-year culling program at the Valley Forge National Historical Park located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Taking steps to address the deer overpopulation problem that has plagued the park for years now, the National Park Service has had to face down stiff opposition to the culling program from animal rights groups.
Valley Forge Park covers approximately 3,500 acres of open and wooded areas and serves as a major tourist attraction and recreational outlet offering numerous hiking, biking, and horse trails. The park is also home to approximately 1,300 deer that have been extending their numbers and hence their roaming range well beyond Valley Forge and into the public highways, home gardens, and busy shopping malls that ring the park
The Park Service is looking to bring the total number of deer in the park down to a sustainable level of approximately 200 over the next few years. The culling of the herds will put a stop to the devastation of the native forest and the crowding out of other species. Limiting the spread of lyme disease is also a factor as Pennsylvania has the highest rate of lyme disease in the nation. The disease is carried by deer ticks and the park is absolutely infested with them. Anyone who dares to venture off the asphalt trails runs a high risk of picking up a tick or two along with the debilitating sickness that these suckers transmit.
But of course, no amount of practical justification for thinning the deer population can break through the otherworldly haze that envelops the brain waves of animal rights groupies. One organization, the Friends of Animals, is suing the Park Service in federal court in an attempt to stop the slaughter of the innocents. In these folks’ estimation, deer have the moral right to a free and unfettered life because they are conscious beings aware of their own existence. I kid you not. This screed is a hodge-podge of progressive social justice nonsense all mixed in with an adoration of an anthropomorphized natural world and its non-human species.
Well, the Park Service intends to continue their humanitarian culling of the deer. And since November, they have sent more than 9 tons of meat to area food banks to help feed the poor. Now that’s the kind of empathetic activity that sustains a truly healthy view of the world.
Deer burger, anyone?