Elk Euthanized after Encounter with Photographer Goes Viral

:(

  • Share
  • Read Later

After a YouTube clip of an elk head-butting a photographer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park went viral late last week, the animal has been euthanized, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. Always prowling for human food, the elk had been getting too close to people for some time, and the viral video was the just last straw, park spokeswoman Dana Soehn told the newspaper.

Shot by filmmaker Vince M. Camiolo on Oct. 20, the video of the elk appearing to play with photographer James York in the Tennessee park’s Cataloochee Valley has racked up 1.8 million views since it was uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 12. Camiolio updated the video description with the following statement:

“I am deeply saddened by the fate of the elk. It has certainly pulled a black cloud over this whirlwind “viral video” experience.”

WATCH: Cute Break: A Tiger Cub Plays With A Kid Dressed As A Tiger

WATCH: This Sneaky Sea Lion Snatch a Monster Fish From a Fisherman’s Hands

58 comments
MtnRanger
MtnRanger

A few things for all the ignorant comments made.  The animal was destroyed because of HUMANS.  HUMANS fed it, and "played" with him like this allowing him to become habituated to people (not afraid of them as he should be).  Bull elk get big, and aggressive and HUMANS would continue to get too close during mating season and could become injured or killed.  The decision in a National Park to "put down" an animal is NEVER taken lightly.  Unfortunately, park officials continue to take HUMAN Safety and put it above that of the animal.  Relocation has pros and cons, and obviously the choice here was to euthanize as relocation would not change the behavior the animal had already learned from the HUMANS.  Bottom line, wild animals are wild.  They should not be fed, approached or pet.  If you do any of these things, YOU contribute to its potential death.

TipBurrows
TipBurrows

Why oh why do we continue to think we are supreme and take precedence over wild animals?  We destroy their habitat and then when they dare encroach upon what we have stolen our solution is mostly DEATH.  Who do we think we are??? Really? 

CarrollRoberts
CarrollRoberts

another park i will never vivst hope the ranger who decided to euthasnize him get hkilled by a more aggressive one !!! itwas rutting season young male what do u expect?? humasn trying to control nature is just wrong!

ConnieEngland
ConnieEngland

For those who shout, relocate, know that the stress of capture would probably kill the elk.. 

ConnieEngland
ConnieEngland

He was damn lucky it was a young bull with small antlers. But the real culprit here are the people who had been feedinf this animal. they are responsible for its death.

LyndaHickey
LyndaHickey

OMG that is horrible!  They couldn't tell it was a young one just feeling his oats..  Senseless killing he didn't do anything wrong.  If he wanted to hurt that human he could have.... Very disappointing!!!!!!!!!!!!but not surprising...........

RandySmith1
RandySmith1

Another disgusting act of unnecessary killing of a beautiful majestic wild animal! You can clearly see that the elk is young by his small horns and is simply playing and curious! Why was it not simply tranquillized and relocated to a more remote part of the park? Man and his guns! Shameful

EstherVioletGonsalves
EstherVioletGonsalves

Photographer should have adopted Elk as a pet- since they were getting along anyway



smarturtle
smarturtle

Kill all mankind already.. just allow me to witness the death of it all before I go, too. Please. #annihilatethehumanrace

DarleneDavis
DarleneDavis

How could it have been doing it for "some time"?! That implies YEARS and that elk was LUCKY to be more than TWO, you could see in it's face that it was quite young!! Relocation to a more remote area or conservation center would have been appropriate, NOT MURDER!!

SharonGaught
SharonGaught

What the hell ? there was no cause for that ... you need to post signs to all the stupid ass humans coming into cntact with them to stop carrying granola bars and food and stop feeding them . You should have at least took the elk and given him to a zoo or relocated him to another area of the park or reserve . That was just an easy means to help the human population to keep doing the bad they are doing . Unfathomable  the lengths the game and fish or police department went too . He was after whatever was in the guys bag and he was trying to push him off of it . It was lured in for photography purposes and the photographer should be fined  . He and his buddies may have been feeding this guy since it was a baby in hopes to  get that video and shots .... See just more stupid humans . Shoot them ... not the poor deer/elk...etc.

ccp903
ccp903

There was a shooting of a Trophy Elk in the city of Boulder Colo. about nine months ago.  The two people who shot this magnificent Elk were two police officers, and they were on duty.  They both conspired to shoot him at night, they video tapped it, had gotten a truck from which to transport it to one of the officers home.  One of the officers is a taxidermist, and both wanted the meat to cut up and freeze and store it in their freezers.  After this story broke the communities all around the state started a campaign  to go after the two premeditated killers.The people wrote letters, emails, contacted the police chief of Boulder, and many more state wide politicians.  This was a collaborative effort on the peoples part and heart.  After all, we the people pay  taxes for those parks,and all the employees who work as police officers,and forest rangers.  Those two officers were fired.  I am aware that Colo.shooting of this elk was in city limits,and not the Nation Forest, but what is the difference?  What is happening with our so called protectors of the people and the animals.  There is not any feeling for the out come, where are the sensitive people allowed to carry a gun, and  the responsibility that goes with it.  Dana Soehn, stop justifying , I hope you got the message  from the USA and the World.








panama123
panama123

what?, shame shame  shame on the people in the black car and the camera man. They  chose  to be completely self absorbed in their own photo op, when they should have seen a man in danger, why did they not simply honk their horn??. I believe they should have  tried to do something  to rescue this guy,...wtf people.... cowards!  

aaguadoc
aaguadoc

I'm a Christian but I feel the people who did this should also be euthanized.  There are so many other ways this could have been handled you just took the easy way out.  Happy life to you!

DavidWoolston
DavidWoolston

what part of the photographer's behavior is inappropriate?  I always thought that animals engaging in play with different animals just as natural as animals conflicting with other animals; humans are no exception.  Here was a elk engaging in play with a human, neither of which did any harm to the other.  What is inappropriate about this?

fieldlab4
fieldlab4

Yes the photographer wanted to get friendly with wildlife, but unless you are living in a hut in the middle of nature or on your own land that is very irresponsible and counter to the survival of wildlife. The photographer encouraged the elk, and could have broken it off at any time or much earlier. Bad practice. The elk did nothing unusual; and that is why other large animals are smart enough not to hang around with huge elk.

richardfireone
richardfireone

extremely poor judgement on the part of the "sitting" photographer. I have been an animal activist and photographer for 40+ years and that was the stupid part even without watching.

chrissylovesyoga
chrissylovesyoga

If people continue to invade their habitats, and in turn these animals are killed for safety reasons, what will we have left to see.......

FohaRafiq
FohaRafiq

They did not need to kill the poor animal.

The photographer was in his territory what do you expect him to do; not care? 
People should not be allowed to get out of their vehicles as they are disturbing the animals

godaveyblack
godaveyblack

seems like to me that the elk is just goofing around the photographer.  In fact I can give it a caption of "you're boring me..." I don't see the need to kill the elk. but killing it may not mean a lot to me though. humans have been nature's greatest killer since human civilization begun. live with it!

AseemRishi
AseemRishi

The photographer should have been the one euthanised, if anyone! 

ccp903
ccp903

wow killed an elk how brave

MichaelHuggins
MichaelHuggins

I would invite those who think the animal's death unnecessary to sit and endure what the photographer did, with no one else around and no certainty that there might be any intervention for hours. Better still, put your child or loved one in that position and just watch from a discreet distance. This was not a Disney movie. The animal may not have been hostile, but it was clear that he wanted to engage in a head-butting encounter and was trying to elicit similar behavior from the human. For an animal with the power to kill, such behavior is inconsistent with human safety. Unless the park is to be closed off or signs posted that say "Enter at your own risk," steps have to be taken to control animals that became dangerous. This elk was one of them.

Grantwave
Grantwave

the human answer to EVERYTHING! KILL IT!

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

All they needed to do was to bring in a horse trainer with training method that I do not agree with, but it would have helped here.  All that was needed was a whip with a white plastic bag and a fire extinguisher.    Place the bag on the whip and shake at the elk.  Use the fire extinguisher as back up.  Take a cattle prod for good measure.  It was not necessary to put this animal down.

Pirate-BirdieOf-theHavel
Pirate-BirdieOf-theHavel

An elk that is so unafraid of people, head-butting people, could just as easily kill people. It is really sad, but that elk could have really hurt someone.

madmacsent@aol.com
madmacsent@aol.com

Why did it have to be euthanized? Seems like the animals were here first and the photographer should have been happy to spend the time and walk away unscathed.  We are so stupid as humans.

JessrineThornton
JessrineThornton

Who told them to kill Bambi!!!!!! Man take everything and when it don't goes there way off with the HEAD! Now an animal is dead and won't be going home with his little ones, Because he came upon an white man!


JessicaWeber
JessicaWeber

People seem to be confused about why this elk needed to be put down.  A bull elk is not Bambi and this guy was incredibly lucky he didn't get gored on those antlers.  No, it's not fair that the elk was put in this position because of it's close proximity to people, but without a better option, a pushy elk is a dangerous elk.

StormySkies
StormySkies

@ConnieEngland Relocating the elk would not have killed it. The US Wildlife service has successfully relocated animals for decades. Tranquilizing the elk, keeping it sedated during transport then letting it awaken in a new area is not hard to do. What the rangers did here was heartless and inexcusable!

MtnRanger
MtnRanger

@SharonGaught  The problem with elk is zoo's don't want them, same with lots of other animals (i.e., black bears, etc).  There are too many of them already.  The alternative after an animal becomes habituated, unfortunately, is usually death.  Relocation is attempted under certain conditions, but usually fail.

JetDavis
JetDavis

@aaguadoc God drowned millions of animals years ago he needs to e euthanized too

NoahMarcus
NoahMarcus

@AseemRishi Why?  The photographer didn't do anything wrong.  He didn't euthanize the Elk, the park did.

TipBurrows
TipBurrows

@MichaelHuggins I would invite you to think about the fact that that elk's natural habitat has been encroached upon to the point where they no longer have the space they require to live peaceably.  No one invited that photographer to interact the way he chose to; in fact he was asking for trouble by his behavior which many wildlife photographers indeed do in their desire to get as close as possible to their subjects.  I would hope the person in question feels horrible that the poor elk was killed as a result.  But make no mistake this was not euthanasia.  Euthanasia means merciful death and is meant only for when animals are suffering beyond all possible treatment.  This was killing plain and simple.  And as far as children go who would even think about putting their kids in that kind of situation to begin with?  Shall we "disney-ise" all of this earth?  At what point do the animals get a break here?  And at what point do we do the right thing and leave them alone instead of all this insane "management" which never ever ends up benefiting the poor animals.  Who do we think we are anyway? 

lkim65
lkim65

@MichaelHuggins   The photographer put himself in that situation, the elk didn't. .  So if the photographer got injured it would be his own damn fault. 

AnnaPalermo
AnnaPalermo

Instead of killing it why not relocate it? SImplistic innit.

KathyBradshaw
KathyBradshaw

@Grantwave  once they learn to not fear relocation will do no good, they will seek us out because they learn there is a food sourse. don't feed them, don''t approach them and nost definately do not rescue one you think is abandoned because you can bet mama is around and very close.

KathyBradshaw
KathyBradshaw

@morgansinkc elk are not horses and your suggestion stinks, why shock a horse, let it go, obviously you are a rodeo fan and believe in being cruel to animals...perhaps you are even in the crual rodeo business...perhaps i should report your name to SHARK



fieldlab4
fieldlab4

The point of elk is they can easily kill people. That's why you respect then and stay the eff away from them. You don't go engaging them or training them in scenarios where they identify humans as interactive subjects. Any wildlife that interact with "civilized" humans will end up diseased, captive, dead, or worse, domesticated.

neeltaknewg
neeltaknewg

@Pirate-BirdieOf-theHavel  hurt someone?  Well that probably would be a good thing since we've become a pest on this planet. I will never understand why people think it is okay to kill an animal who has no idea what it is doing but lets a human who is perfectly aware of what it is doing (murder,rape, etc) live.  Humans are so stupid.  They destroy the very things they need to survive.  Duh!


neeltaknewg
neeltaknewg

@JessicaWeber a pushy elk is a dangerous elk.   A pushy human could be a dangerous human, should we put all them down too?  Another stupid human. 

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

@AnnaPalermo they couldn't relocated it because it still would have been aggressive to humans.  But, they could have re-trained it.

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

@KathyBradshaw From another article, "Soehn said that since September the elk had been "hazed" an estimated 28 times. Hazing includes shooting the animal with bean bags and paint balls, running after the elk as well as lighting firecrackers to scare it off, Soehn explained." - NBC

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

@KathyBradshaw my suggestion would have the elk alive.  You would be laughed at for reporting me, as everyone knows that I have supported kinder shoeing rules and regs and that I don't do anything like this to my horses.  Plus, there is record of it where I have put rule changes through committees.

I am not in the rodeo business, and you need to read for comprehension.  I said there are  horse trainers that use a whip with a white plastic bag on the end and fire extinguishers.  The cattle prod idea came from knowing that such a product exists.

The point is, it would have been very easy to teach him how to be afraid of people and to have kept him alive and in the wilderness.