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Sharpshooters Kill 192 Deer At Md. National Park

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A Waterbuck calf gets some attention from her waterbuck mother at the Berlin zoo. (Photo credit JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A Waterbuck calf gets some attention from her waterbuck mother at the Berlin zoo. (Photo credit JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

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THURMONT, Md. (AP) — The National Park Service says sharpshooters killed 192 white-tailed deer at Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont in the second year of a herd-reduction program.

Park officials said Friday that the deer density in the park is still six times higher than in a healthy forest ecosystem.

They say the program will continue annually until the deer population reaches a level that allows the forest to regenerate at a healthy rate.

The park says it donated about 4,700 pounds of venison to the Maryland Food Bank and the Thurmont Food Bank.

Park officials found no sign of chronic wasting disease in the deer carcasses. The disease is fatal to deer. It has been found in Allegany County.

Public hunting is prohibited in the park, which surrounds the Camp David presidential retreat.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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