Elk Euthanized after Encounter with Photographer Goes Viral


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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.”

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