'Elk prison': Protesters demand protection for tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore

POINT REYES, Calif. (KGO) -- A colorful protest took place over the weekend to protect California's native Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Some elk watched as dozens of protesters made their way through the preserve.

RELATED: Protests continue in Pt. Reyes as tule elk controversy heads to federal court

Tule elk are protected by federal law, but more than a third of the herd died in the past year from lack of water and food. With another severe drought on the way, the protestors want the National Park Service to remove a fence that runs from Tomales Bay all the way to the ocean.

The Park Service erected the fence decades ago to keep the elk away from nearby cattle ranches, allowed to operate on federal land.

"We're in another drought, more elk are going to die right now even in this beautiful foggy environment," Jack Gescheidt, the protest organizer said.

"There's not enough water and there's not enough food inside the elk prison. They call this a reserve but it's killing the animals it's supposed to be protecting," Gescheidt said.

In addition to their antlers and prison jumpsuits, the protesters switched out a sign at the preserve to read, "Tule Elk Penitentiary."

A federal lawsuit is underway to force the Park Service to take action. A parks spokesperson told the I-Team's Dan Noyes Saturday that they would have no comment because of the pending lawsuit.
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