Defense of Animals to protest Rock Creek Park deer kill

WASHINGTON (AP) - An advocacy group is protesting a National Park Service decision to kill deer in Washington's Rock Creek Park.

In Defense of Animals says it'll hold a rally and vigil on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The park service said Wednesday that it was ready to use sharpshooters to reduce the deer population in the park. It says the population needs to be cut to protect plant and animal habitat. The park has more than 70 deer per square mile, and the plan is to reduce that number to no more than 20 per square mile.

Sharpshooters are to work through early Saturday morning.

In Defense of Animals and several residents sued to try to stop the shootings. But a judge ruled in favor of the park service earlier this month.