- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Wildlife officials say a handful of pheasants were released after animal rights activists vandalized a holding pen at a wildlife area north of Corvallis.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1QP5mas ) 15 birds escaped Thursday night after someone cut a hole in the pen at the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Management Area.

Oregon wildlife officials said 565 pheasants were being kept in pens for a hunt scheduled for October 1 at the 1,800-acre wildlife area.

A group identifying as “ALF” took credit for the vandalism in an anonymous statement sent to the animal rights magazine Bite Back. The statement said it’s “sick and disturbing” that pheasants are killed for sport.

State officials said they believe in preserving hunting heritage.

ALF also released 50 pheasants from a game-bird farm in Clackamas County in 2013.

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Information from: Gazette-Times, http://www.gtconnect.com

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