Jack Gescheidt

August 02, 2021, Response to Tule Elk Motion

Judge denies request for emergency relief in the form of supplemental water and food and/or the removal of the fence for tule elk

Today Judge Gilliam decided not to grant the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic’s motion for a preliminary injunction following Friday’s hearing. The motion asked the federal court in San Francisco to require the National Park Service to take immediate steps to ensure that the tule elk at Tomales Point do not continue to die of starvation and/or dehydration during the pendency of the Clinic’s lawsuit.

“We are sad that Judge Gilliam did not order immediate relief for the elk, but hope that the Park Service will do the right thing by making sure these animals do not continue to die from starvation and dehydration during the current drought,” said Kate Barnekow, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs the Animal Legal Defense Fund and several California residents along with her co-counsel and the Clinic’s director Katherine Meyer.

Kate continued, “Asking the Court to affirmatively order the government to take action is a heavy lift, but we had to try for the sake of the animals who are suffering right now.”

Stephen Wells, Executive Director, of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, added: “The tule elk will continue to suffer the deadly consequences of the National Park Service failing to address the dire conditions in Tomales Point. This lawsuit is critical to employing long-term strategies that prioritize wildlife’s interests over animal agriculture.”

Given the urgency of the elk’s situation, however, Judge Gilliam has set a conference call for August 17th to try and move the case forward as expeditiously as possible.

Images of emaciated elk taken last week by plaintiff Jack Gescheidt for media use.


For more further information, images, video, or interviews please contact:

Sarah Pickering (to speak with the attorneys and residents who are part of this lawsuit): 617 852-6484; [email protected]

Mike Andrade-Heymsfield (for plaintiff the Animal Legal Defense Fund): 707-364-8387; [email protected]