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Elk Encounters

Wildlife experts are looking for an elk that has a baby car seat or swing stuck on its antlers. Residents spotted it Tuesday night along Black Camp Gap Road near Maggie Valley in Haywood County.

They snapped several pictures of the unusual sight. Residents like Judy Forbes hope the photos will help state biologists find the animal and remove the seat.

"We thought at first it was a baby car seat hanging on its antler. But the more we looked at it, its got like bungee cords hung in its antlers. So we wanted to try to get some help for the elk," said Forbes.

Justin McVey with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission is searching for the elk. Unlike many reintroduced into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this one does not have a collar.

"If I can locate it, I'm going to immobilize it, pull the swing off, saw its antlers off. Just so he can't get into trouble again and then put a GPS collar on him," said McVey.

Over the weekend, another elk got a garbage bag stuck on his head at Mountain Joy Cottages in Maggie Valley, got caught up in some cable, and rammed some playground equipment.

"But he took this whole piece and he dragged it to the middle of the road out there," said owner Susie Lynn.

Wildlife experts say encounters like this are happening as the elk population grows in the Great Smokies.

McVey says antlers should drop off in the next couple of weeks along with anything attached to them.

But he says call his District Office at 273-7980 if you have information about these elk.

By Rex Hodge
Follow Rex on Twitter @RexHodgeWLOS


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