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Elk Sightings Up

Updated: Friday, April 26 2013, 10:01 PM EDT

Elk sightings are up in the Great Smokies. Many are crossing busy roads like Highway 19 at Soco Mountain, near the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance.


It’s the time of year females are heading to higher elevations to give birth at the end of May. That can create a dangerous situation from drivers coming upon them. Tourists can also put them in jeopardy by trying to get too close.


National Park Service Ranger Lynda Doucette says, “Elk will eventually become so comfortable with people that they will become a danger…and that is when we have to take action on that elk.” She says they start with yelling and chasing elk away from roads and into the mountains, but if they have to will use louder devices like fireworks.


There are also volunteers who slow or stop traffic to protect elk along roadways. They work between May and November.  


By Rex Hodge

Elk Sightings Up


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