He started from many miles away over the past couple of years. Some say the PA Game Commission set him free which was unlikely. Other say a man owned this beautiful creature. The man had died and the wife not knowing what to do, set him free. No matter how it happened this elk had traveled a long way alone over different counties.
Understand, this area is not known for elk. We do have elk further up north that were brought in, released and the herd slowly grew. So I believe this elk was always looking for a herd or something familiar.
He was very tame. As tame as a wild animal could be. I strongly feel that a wild animal is unpredictable and that is why they are called wild. Many people took advantage of the fact that they could walk up and feed this animal by hand. Not realizing that even if he would suddenly panic and run them down they were putting themselves in danger.
I will admit that I was able to approach him myself and take pictures. I kept my distance but got beautiful shots while he ate ferns and watched me. Other people then came and walked right up to him so I left.
Over the past year I had heard stories about different sightings in the area. He seemed to stay in the same area for within a ten mile radius. People kept feeding him and the Game Commission worked hard trying to stop that.
About two months ago I was taking my dogs out to do their duties. It was around 5 AM. We stepped out on the deck and I was putting their leashes on when I heard a click clock on the road in the dark. The first thing I thought was someone’s horse had gotten loose because there was a farm very nearby.
As he walked under the street light I realized it was the elk. I asked “What are you doing here beautiful guy?” He stopped and look, then my dogs went ballistic. So off he trotted into the night. Feeling happy about what I just saw and then a little upset when I knew there was a corn field nearby. He should have been in the corn field. Not in a residual area.
Later that night he was hit by a car about two miles from my home. The police and Game Commission were called to the accident. He did some damage to the car but as far I knew the driver was OK. The elk had an injured hind leg so they did not destroy it. I also heard there were people protesting that the area’s only elk be shot. You never know with stories though.
Two weeks ago I was driving home early in the morning. I looked into a field I was passing and there stood the elk. I turned around and went back to see him. He was painfully walking very slowly. I was very upset. I felt he should have been put out of his misery. He obviously stayed in the area where he was hit for quite awhile so he wasn’t moving much lately.
Two nights ago the elk was once again hit by a car in the same area. This time the driver was injured and the elk was killed. This elk was finally put out of his misery. Unfortunately, someone else was hurt this time plus I can only imagine the damage to the vehicle.
Now he is at peace. He graced many people with his beauty and maybe they should not have fed him but they gave him company. I really felt he was lonely. I really felt he was looking for something.