Idaho Fish and Game officials successfully relocated a bull elk last week after the animal ran amok through a Garden City neighborhood. According to a press release, officials say that the young elk was first reported foraging in a vacant lot when a crowd gathered. The first conservation officer on the scene, Bill London, stated that bystanders were attempting to take pictures of the animal, and even getting close enough to the elk to take “selfies.” Not surprisingly, the bull elk soon became stressed and fled deeper into the neighborhood, trampling down a large street.
“When people get this close to a wild animal, the stress not only creates potential harm to the animal and to the public, the increased adrenaline can also make it difficult to tranquilize an animal,” London said.
Officers from the Garden City Police Department were called out to contain the animal, which presented a danger to passing motorists and people on the street. Police and conservation officers were able to steer the animal back to the vacant lot, where it bedded down and was later tranquilized by a Fish and Game veterinarian. The elk was loaded onto a horse trailer and safely relocated into the wild, but officials say the event should remind residents that wild animals should be best left alone.
People living in the Boise area are not entirely unfamiliar with elk excursions. Young elk, moose, and other wildlife occasionally wander into urban areas before being relocated by wildlife officials. The Idaho Statesman reports that several years ago, another bull elk that the locals affectionately named “Ernie” moved into East Boise. That elk became a minor celebrity after it was assimilated into a herd of cattle. Some have already stated to speculate whether the elk that caused all the commotion last week was related to Ernie in some way.
Image courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife