Sharpshooters Kill 20 Deer in Rock Creek Park

Monday, Apr 1, 2013  |  Updated 6:29 PM EDT
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Sharpshooters Kill 20 Deer in Rock Creek Park

James Marvin Phelps/Flickr

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Sharpshooters killed 20 deer in Washington's Rock Creek Park, reducing the deer population in the park by roughly 10 percent, according to the National Park Service.

NPS is killing deer in the park in order to protect plant and animal habitat. Before last week's effort, there were roughly 200 deer in the 2.7-square-mile park -- more than 70 per square mile. The goal is to reduce the population to no more than 20 per square mile.

The use of sharpshooters was delayed by a lawsuit filed by an animal rights group. A judge ruled in favor of the park service, which plans to kill more deer sometime this fall.

Venison from the deer killed last week will be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.

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