Wild Elk Do Not Need Human Handouts

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Because it is getting close to that time of year again where the part-time residents will be going back to the Valley, I am running this picture of Droopy again as a reminder.

It is important not to feed the wildlife.

photo

The purpose of this picture is to show that when people feed the wildlife they become dependent.

Several years ago, this elk hung out in a nearby neighborhood because the local residents were putting out feed.

Droopy was hanging around so much the locals named him. Droopy is no longer around. I am not sure how he met his demise. It could have been hunting season or maybe a car, but he is no longer in the area. When I would go hiking in Christopher Creek Droopy would come out of the woods and just follow along like a dog, because he had lost his fear of humans.

It is a little scary to be hiking in the forest and have this big guy walk out right next to you.

Because he scared me quite often, I would carry carrots with me and throw them at Droopy to keep him back.

One day I took along a friend and decided to get a picture to show people just how humanized they had made this elk. I fed Droopy a carrot to show just how close people were able to get to him. I do not recommend anyone get this close to the wildlife. It is extremely dangerous because you never know what they will do. Even though this elk was used to people, you just never know what a wild animal will do.

According to Game and Fish one of the largest problems with wild animals is a trend towards treating them as "pets" and "teaching" them to become "humanized." Wild animals become humanized because people enjoy seeing them and even encourage them to come into the residential setting. "Humanized" animals have lost their fear of humans and have even come to expect to be fed by humans. A wild animal that has lost its fear of humans is an especially dangerous situation.

The problem in an area such as Christopher Creek is that when the part-time residents leave for winter the wildlife do not leave and become a nuisance. Elk are not flatlanders; they do not have a home in the valley for winter. The sad situation is these animals only get three strikes, and if they become a nuisance, the sad result is to eliminate them. Rangers will relocate elks twice. The third time the elks will be destroyed. Please take that into consideration, when you even think of feeding them.

Remember, it is against the law to feed them, and there are new laws to protect these wild animals from human feeding and they include some very high citations.

It is extremely sad to see wild animals being taught to become habitual visitors, only to become a nuisance and then eventually be destroyed. Please learn to enjoy them from a far and keep them "wildlife."

Firebelles and root beer floats

Labor Day is coming up and the Firebelles next function will be on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the fire hall at 7 p.m. They will sponsor a root beer float and Casino Bingo Night for everyone to enjoy.

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