LOS ANGELES – In his various film roles, Harrison Ford has defended the universe, his nation and even ancient artifacts. Now, he’s championing elk.

Ford, 62, is defying efforts to thin an elk herd that lives near his Wyoming ranch, reports the AP.

“Ford doesn’t want any hunting to take place on his property,” says John Kelly, the actor’s ranch manager. “He told me that if I caught anyone to turn them in.”

Signs along the border of Ford’s property warn hunters away and create an improvised private elk refuge.

State officials hope for hunters to kill about 700 of the 5,100 elk to help preserve the Snake River’s cottonwood habitat on, to save stores of hay and to protect local cattle from potential diseases.

Ford was nominated for an Oscar for his lead role in 1985’s “Witness.” He recently starred opposite Josh Hartnett in 2003’s police comedy “Hollywood Homicide.”

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