In a sad turn of events it has come to our attention that the young bull elk involved in the altercation with a wildlife photographer that we posted about several days ago has been put down by park rangers.
According to a statement to NBC park officials said that the Elk “could not be re-trained to be fearful of humans.” So it was determined that the animal needed to be put down to protect other visitors to the park from its aggressive behavior.
The photographer involved in the viral video regarding this Elk has issues a statement in which he expresses deep sadness at the loss of this animals life. He goes on to express a wish that the video had never gone viral so that the animal might still be alive today.
I love and respect animals and that’s why I photograph them and don’t hunt them. I am deeply hurt by the loss of such a beautiful creature that in its own way bonded with me. I looked forward to watching him grow to a mature bull as the years passed. I’m truly heartbroken to know he is gone.
Wildlife Safety Is Not Just About You, Its for the Animals Protection as Well
I am saddened to hear that it had to come to this for the young bull Elk, I can’t say that I am all too surprised though. Even though the photographer in this case was able to get away without any serious injury it could easily have gone another direction. Just watching the video again and I have seen several spots where the man was lucky to not have been stabbed by those antlers.
This just underscores why it is important to follow all posted rules when visiting national parks or any place where you may have interaction with wild animals. These rules are in place for the animals protection just as much as your protection – more so in their case really.
When you feed or interact with wild animals, especially ones that get big like an Elk, you put them at risk of situations like this. Unfortunately this young Elk had started to associate humans with food (due to being fed by humans at the park), so when the photographer had no food for him the Elk became aggressive. Had this been a full grown bull elk the photographer likely could have been seriously injured.
So next time you are out in the wild and feel the urge to feed that cute animal remember this cautionary tale and don’t do it. You may be dooming the animal to a fate similar to this Elk…
What are your thoughts on this story? Do you think that the Elk was dangerous and deserved to be put down or do you think that the Park Rangers overreacted in this case? Share your thoughts in a comment below.