Living in metropolitan New Orleans I didn’t think much about grizzlies, wolves, or elk. My family and I lived the typical suburban lifestyle, more concerned with how the local sheriff would keep criminals out of the “parish” than what the wildlife were doing.
Here in NW Montana, where crime is petty and almost non-existent, newspapers consist of articles about grizzly bear population and migration, delisting of wolves, so ranchers can protect their livestock, and where to find the best herd of elk during hunting season.
Just the other day, the famous Bull Elk, No. 6, was in the news. Found dead in Yellowstone National Park, he died the victim of a freak accident. Evidently he had tripped crossing a fence and somersaulted onto his back. Pinned between large rocks with his trophy sized rack of antlers beneath him, he slowly suffocated. Weighing in at about 725 lbs., he was impressive and a favorite of Yellowstone visitors. Tagged No. 6, he was famous for his aggressive behavior towards rival bull elk during mating season. And over the years, he let his frustration out on tourists’ vehicles, which caused thousands of dollars in damage. Having attacked two people, park officials had removed his antlers twice to make him less dangerous. Elk usually live between 13 to 18 years old. It is believed that No. 6 was about 15 when he died.
It is so much nicer to read articles about wildlife rather than articles about murderers, purse snatchers, and rapists.