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Valley Forge park officials are urged to use coyotes, rather than hunters, to control deer population

October 18, 2010 |  5:14 pm

Valley Forge Deer

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — An animal-rights group that opposes the use of hunters to cut the deer population in Valley Forge National Historical Park wants officials to consider using coyotes instead.

Friends of Animals opposes a plan to use sharpshooters to eliminate more than 80% of the Pennsylvania park's deer in the next four years. Last year, they sued to try to stop the hunts.

Now, the group has started a campaign called the Coyote Coexistence Initiative. They want park officials to consider encouraging natural predators rather than shooting the deer.

Park officials tell The Philadelphia Inquirer the proposal wouldn't work. They say the number of deer has to be cut from an estimated 1,277 to about 175 in the next four years.

Friends of Animals says it will seek an injunction to stop a hunt planned for next month.

Sharpshooters employed to thin out the deer population around Maryland's Camp David retreat
'Do not feed the wildlife' signs installed in Griffith Park following coyote attacks

-- Associated Press

Photo: A deer bounds across the path at dusk in Valley Forge National Historical Park in 2001. Credit: Peter Doyle / Associated Press

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