Have you ever had a spur-of-the-moment where you just wanted to take a walk around your hometown? It appears an elk herd in North Carolina did, as a recent video shows them taking a leisurely stroll through the area, stopping traffic while they were at it.
North Carolina has a number of popular destinations, so traffic jams are far from a rarity. Nonetheless, Cherokee, N.C. saw a new variation of it. Occurring on January 3 this year, the elk crossed Highway 441 near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dean Cloer managed to record two videos of the herds as the large elk meandered through town, which WBIR Channel 10 posted.
Luckily, the elk seem to be minding their own business for the most part and just taking in the town’s sights. In a similar vein, onlookers appear to enjoy seeing the elk. Well, except for the huge traffic jam, anyway.
WBIR notes elk sightings have become increasingly common the past few years, particularly after reintroducing them into Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than 20 years ago. National Park Service and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation officials began releasing them in 2001, starting with 25. They steadily increased the amount every year, with 2002 seeing another 27 returning to the wild.
The effort began as an experiment to bring back native species European settlers ran out of the area. Unfortunately, the settlers overhunted them back in the late 1700s, drastically dwindling their numbers. Nevertheless, as we can see in the video above, their numbers are increasing to the point they can take tours of nearby towns.
Colorado Officers Save Bull Elk After it Gets Itself Stuck in a Net
North Carolina isn’t the only state with a thriving elk population. With more than 250,000 of them in Colorado, it’s safe to say they’re doing well. This is especially true after an incident last year when Colorado officers saved a bull elk after it got itself stuck in a net.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) had its hands full in October last year after a wild elk found itself caught in some netting. FOX 31 reported the story, stating the young bull elk wandered onto residential property and became belligerent after getting stuck. Luckily, CPW successfully tranquilized the elk and quickly freed it. Their official Twitter account also posted about the incident, providing pictures of what happened.
“Wildlife officers responded to a call in Genesee of an elk caught in some netting. They were able to tranquilize the elk, which was a bull under two years old, and free it of the entanglement. #WildlifeRescue,” the organization tweeted.
Additionally, the CPW reminded locals things like netting and lights commonly trap animals as the netting did. As such, they request residents be aware of their outdoor decorations and plan accordingly.