Kansas City News Blog
'Funeral motorcade' for Shawnee Mission Park deer this afternoon
By Carolyn Szczepanski
Wed., Dec. 9 2009 @ 7:00AM
The deer death toll has already surpassed 300, but the activists in Bite Club of
KC aren't about to give up their campaign to save the fuzzy mammals in Shawnee
Canadian activist, Anthony Marr
Today, though, their tone is taking a turn -- from road-blocking,
blood-spattering, deer-head-hoisting outrage to a somber death march.
According to earlier reports from the Johnson County Park and Recreation
District, the first deer harvest in November didn't pare down the overpopulated
deer herd to ecologically manageable levels, so today marks the opening of a bow
hunt by carefully screened archers. At 2 p.m., activists are planning a grim
"funeral motorcade" as a means of protest, cruising their placard-plastered cars
through Shawnee Mission Park, Oak Park Mall and, finally, Johnson County
It won't be Jason Miller leading this charge, though. Anthony Marr, an animal
rights activist from Canada, traveled to Kansas City for the motorcade this
afternoon. And tonight he'll use the Shawnee Mission Park controversy as a
platform to launch an international anti-hunting coalition.
Marr has been all over the map in his 14 years as an animals rights activist.
He's led campaigns against traditional Chinese medicine manufactured from
endangered species. He's tracked down poachers of Bengal tigers in India,
organized protests against whale hunting in Japan and, most recently, toured for
months at a time through the U.S. and Canada to raise objections to recreational
hunting. This summer, he joined Bite Club's campaign to stop the deer hunt in
Shawnee Mission Park.
"There's no anti-hunting campaign hotter than this one," Marr says.
His name is familiar to officials in Johnson County. Marr came up with the
schematics for a "deer sanctuary," a system of one-way gates that would lure
animals into an enclosed area where they would be fed and treated with
contraceptive drugs. Marr insists such a system would cost far less than bullets
and bow hunts, but park officials shot it down as inconsistent with Kansas
But Marr's in town with a more long-term agenda -- one he'll lay out at 6
tonight in Craig Auditorium at Johnson County Community College. His
presentation, he says, will highlight the cruelty of current hunting methods,
outline his detailed plan for the deer sanctuary and announce the formation of
the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition.
"This is going to be huge," he says of the GAHC. "The purpose is to have a
global structure so the entire weight of the anti-hunting coalition can descend
on a local campaign with huge resources. So you'd have the entire world coming
down on Kansas City."
Two of the anti-hunting group's board members will be on hand for the
presentation. Anthony Damieno, an activist from Florida, is flying up from the
Sunshine State for the occasion. The other is already a resident of Johnson
County. Yep, you guessed it. Jason Miller.