Ronan Furuta

June 28, 2021Clinic Seeks Emergency Relief for Tule Elk as Case Heads to Federal Court

The motion follows a lawsuit that the Harvard Law Clinic filed against the National Park Service on Tuesday

Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, on behalf of three Bay Area residents and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Thursday asking the federal court in San Francisco to require the 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 while the court decides the lawsuit the Clinic filed on Tuesday.

Accompanying the motion were signed declarations from not only Plaintiffs, who describe the impact of seeing dead elk at the National Seashore, but also experts including Dr. Judd Howell, the wildlife biologist who conducted the Tule elk population study relied on by the Park Service, and a veterinarian who explains how excruciating it is for an animal to die from lack of food and water.

“If it weren’t for the Park Service still relying on a 41-year-old management plan for Tomales Point instead of updating the plan in a ‘timely manner’ as required by federal law, we would not be facing this crisis with the Tule elk who  are dying slow, horrific deaths every day,” said attorney Kate Barnekow. “Emergency legal action is now required to simply get the agency to do its job.” The motion follows a lawsuit that the Harvard Law Clinic filed against the Park Service on Tuesday and aims to ensure the remaining elk are protected while the case is pending.

ABC7 are the latest media outlet to cover the story in this news segment today. On Friday the San Francisco Chronicle and Huffington Post also covered the story.