DENVER (CBS4)– A pair of elk took a trip to the big city on Wednesday and wildlife officials said they were taking a “wait and see approach” on when the animals will make their way back into the wild.
Copter4 flew over the two elk munching on grass at 8th and Federal less than three miles from downtown Denver. The elk stuck around the drainage ditch and nestled down for a while.
Wildlife officials said they have received reports of the elk in the area over the past couple of days.
“There’s a spike and four-pointer down there running around and eating,” said elk watcher Eric Shenkeir.
“We have been in our building for 40 years and this is the first time that I’ve seen this kind of wildlife down here,” said elk watcher Mary Matson.
Wildlife officials said relocating wild animals isn’t something they take into consideration lightly and hope the elk return to the foothills on their own.
“Tranquilization can sometimes be tough on animals, especially in hotter temperatures like this. Animals can actually have tranquilization shock and they can actually die just from being tranquilized,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.
The two young bull elk probably followed the food into town.
“We have a lot of green belts and drainage areas that go right from the foothills into town,” said Churchill.
She said it’s best to keep a safe distance from the elk even though the presence of humans doesn’t seem to bother them because they are still wild animals.