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Sign: Fish And Wildlife Officials Move Friendly Elk Out Of Hunting Area 2833 PEOPLE SIGNED THIS PETITION

Published: September 01, 2019 at 11:51 AM Author: Penny Eims

The town of Sweet, Idaho – Elliot the elk called the town of Sweet, Idaho, home for years. Residents were enamored with his friendly, “dog-like” personality. But Elliot is now in danger because Fish and Wildlife officials decided to relocate the young bull to a hunting area…the day before archery season opened!

Please sign this petition asking Idaho Fish and Wildlife officials to get Elliot out of this area before he is killed. Elliot has no fear of humans and he is in grave danger.

Update! After fish and wildlife officials realized that Elliot was too habituated to humans, they captured him once again. Officials plan to relocate him to an accredited wildlife facility to live out the remainder of his life in captivity. Officials remind the public not to remove wild animals from their natural habitat. This particular elk was raised by someone who found him as a baby and assumed that he was abandoned.

Of special note – hunters in the area where Elliot was released took turns watching over him until he was recaptured by Fish and Wildlife officials. Photos of him hanging out in camp with hunters have been shared on social media. One hunter wrote:

“As hunters we all have a responsibility of Ethics in Hunting and Fair Chase. I will tell you all of the hunters around us showed this by making sure that Elliott stayed safe during the opening of the archery season. He bedded down in our camp each day and night.” He added, “This was quite the experience this weekend and we are dang glad he is safe.”

(Image via T. Chadwick/Facebook)

Fish and Wildlife officials claim that they had few options for Elliot – but the one option that they did decide on was to move him to a hunting area, the day before archery season starts. Thousands of hunters are expected in the area and this friendly, young elk will like walk right up to a hunter, only to be killed.

This young elk is so well-known that there are currently HUNTERS who are trying to keep him safe. But it will not be long before someone unaware of his personality will end is young life.

Please join us in asking officials to move Elliot out of this area before he is killed.

Update October 2019: Animal Victory has learned Elliot has been relocated.

The following is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Southwest Region about Elliot the “tame” elk. See the previous story here.

Elliot, the Idaho elk who befriended hunters, moves to Texas

 

A human-habituated bull elk from the Sweet, Idaho area has found a “forever” home in Texas.

After six weeks at a Fish and Game facility, the elk left Idaho early Thursday morning, ultimately bound for Texas A&M University, where it will become part of the school’s wildlife management and veterinarian programs.

The elk will join a number of native and exotic wildlife species that roam the university’s animal paddock, including white-tailed deer, fallow deer, zebra, addax antelope and ostrich.

“Of the alternatives available, A&M was the best place for this elk to land,” Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew noted. “He will be well cared for and enjoy a good life at this world-class facility.”

Drew and his staff spent countless hours securing the needed paperwork to get the elk to the Lone Star State. Brucella and tuberculosis testing, chronic wasting disease certification, veterinary visits, transport and import permits, and USDA Veterinary Services approval from Washington, D.C, all needed to be conducted or in place before the elk could leave Idaho.

The 400-pound bull elk, illegally removed from the wild in the spring of 2018 and raised in captivity, became a potential safety risk to the community of Sweet this summer as it roamed the streets and showed no fear of humans. The elk was captured and released in Bear Valley with the hope that it would integrate with wild elk herds in the area. Instead, the animal sought out humans, resulting in its recapture. That’s when the search began for an accredited facility that could take the animal.

Fortunately, Texas A&M University answered the call. “This young bull elk is in a good place now,” Drew noted.

Trevor Chadwick01
Camden Chadwick, front, and Hunter Chadwick pose with Elliott the elk at their hunting camp in Bear Valley. The elk, which was habituated to humans in Sweet, spent the archery season opening weekend at the Chadwicks’ camp. | Courtesy Trevor Chadwick/Idaho Statesman

* Individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

PRIOR SIGNATURES : 2833