Elk Attacks Tents and Cars

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Hoh Rain Forest in Washington was closed Friday after a large cow elk damaged tents and patrol cars. The elk was monitored the rest of the weekend for aggressive behavior. Then on Monday the elk attacked two cars and it was determined for safety that the elk should be removed. National Park Rangers shot the cow elk with two rifle shots to the heart. Tissue samples from the brain and body were taken to a lab for analysis. Researchers will try to determine if there was something that was making the elk act aggressively.

Rangers said elk who become too comfortable in the presence of humans pose a danger both to itself and to humans. Park visitors are urged to stay at least 50 yards away from the animals. From KOMONews.com.

Comments

niceshot_smitty's picture

Some place with high number

Some place with high number of elk this time of year should be off limits.  Why you ask.  Elk are giving birth to new borns and they think every thing is out to get them or there little ones.  I now it was a national park but close off caving areas to the public.. 

arrowflipper's picture

pretty close to home

Wow, that's pretty close to home!  That would have been a Roosevelt elk as it's on the Peninsula of Washington.  The Hoh Rain Forest receives 150+ inches of rain per year and is very, very lush territory.  It is home to a good number of elk as well as blacktail deer, bobcats and cougar. 

The problem arises when too many people visit an area with elk.  Much like the videos most of us saw of the big bulls in Colorado walking up and down the streets, when people get too close to these animals, they lose fear and only bad things can happen.

In this case, it doesn't look like it was human induced at the time, but how much human interaction had taken place before this occurred?  It's much like the black bears in Yellowstone Park years ago that would stick their heads into car windows to get food and people were willing to feed them.  It wasn't long before all those bears had to be captured and relocated a long ways from roads and people.  Bears that came back were often killed.

It's my guess that this elk had become accustomed to lots of people around and for some reason she just got pissed off and decided to strike back.  I think the game department did the right thing in monitoring her before just eliminating her.  They gave her the benefit of the doubt and did what they had to do.  I would hope the meat from this animal was salvaged and given to good cause.  I am always saddened when an animal has to be put down.