EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

January 27, 2013

Grand Canyon elk become nuisance

(Continued)

Elk brought in by train from Yellowstone National Park helped re-establish the Arizona populations after the state’s native elk became extinct around 1900.

They’re now too close to the Grand Canyon’s most popular areas for comfort. Last summer, a tourist standing too close to an elk was scratched in the eye by its antlers.

Officials say it would be best to replace lawns with native vegetation that’s abundant throughout the park, so that the elk don’t necessarily prefer the tourist-heavy areas to other spots. They’re also considering using excess water from the treatment facility to expand the park’s nursery instead of letting elk drink it as it flows over the landscape.

At the local school, students and staff constantly are reminded to shut the gates of the fence around the recreational field to keep elk off the grass and away from children, though the animals have gone under and over the fence.

Grand Canyon residents are told not to put animal feed, water buckets or bird feeders outside so that elk aren’t tempted to wander around homes.

More than half of the 91 elk-related calls that the wildlife program has responded to since fall 2008 were over elk and people mingling in the same areas, or approaching one another, said Grand Canyon wildlife biologist Brandon Holton.

Even when visitors follow the guidelines not to approach or feed elk, to flee when they’re acting aggressively and to avoid the animals’ territory, accidents still happen. In 2011, a park concessionaire employee was gored in the back by an elk while she was on the sidewalk one of the hotels.

“They’ve completely lost their fear of humans,” Holton said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Suspect Dead, Marshals and Cop Wounded in NYC Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Arts, Humanities Awards Handed Out at WH Former Va. Governor's Corruption Trial Begins Trial Begins Over OKC Bombing Video $15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Maine Police Investigate Deaths of Family of 5 UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Obama Asks Central American Leaders for Help
Latest World News
Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Today in History for July 28th Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Today in History for July 27th Thousands at Peace Rally in Tel Aviv Raw: Sirens After Explosions in Israel Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Raw: Planes With MH17 Victims Land in Eindhoven Kerry Lays Out Ceasefire Goals for Gaza Family of MH17 Victim Pay Respects at Crash Site US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Tanks Patrol Gaza Streets During Ceasefire Raw: Residents Come Home to Rubble in Gaza 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Today in History for July 26th
Photos of the Week