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Federal judge approves the use of sharpshooters to thin deer herd at Valley Forge

October 27, 2010 |  2:03 pm

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge has approved plans to use sharpshooters to cull the bulging deer population at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Wednesday's decision rejects a lawsuit filed by several animal-rights groups.

The National Park Service plans to begin the nighttime hunt next month.

U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg says it's clear the park is overrun with white-tailed deer, causing damage to the park's vegetation and habitat.

Goldberg says there's no evidence the park service decision was capricious or arbitrary.

Animal-rights activists say the park should be maintained by natural means.

The 3,500-acre park is about 20 miles west of Philadelphia.

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-- Associated Press

Video: Deer at the park in 2008. Credit: photoPT via YouTube

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