Dead Elk Moved From Yellowstone Roads To Prevent Human-Grizzly Conflicts
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) _ Rangers are dragging and trucking away roadside carcasses of bison and elk to prevent clashes between tourists and scavenging grizzly bears.
About one-fourth of the park’s northern herd of 26,000 elk has died this year, and more animals will die this month and in early May, Joan Anzelmo, a park spokeswoman, said Thursday.
The elk and bison are falling victim to a combination of a harsh winter and lack of forage because of last summer’s forest fires, she said.
Rangers also are sawing off antlers from elk carcasses to discourage illegal horn hunting. Horn hunters sell the antlers for about $7 a pound, for use as jewelry, buttons, cabinet handles, salt-and-pepper shakers and other items.
It is illegal to remove natural items from the park, and the antlers are a valuable source of calcium and other minerals needed by rodents, Joe Halladay, a Yellowstone National Park naturalist, said.
Grizzlies in the Yellowstone area are listed as a threatened species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.