- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Park Service says it has donated 1,700 pounds of venison to feed the homeless in the nation’s capital following a recent deer hunt in Rock Creek Park.

The park service uses sharpshooters to kill white-tailed deer in the park because of overpopulation. There are so many deer that it’s nearly impossible for new native plants and trees to grow.

The initial efforts to kill deer in the park were delayed by a lawsuit filed by animal-rights activists.

The park service says 55 deer were killed this fall and winter. More will be killed next year.

The meat was donated to D.C. Central Kitchen, which prepares meals for homeless shelters. It will be used to make venison chili and Bolognese sauce.

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