JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — A pregnant elk trying to give birth on Lookout Mountain in Jefferson County has had many people contacting our newsroom since Tuesday evening.
CBS4 first saw the cow laying on the hillside from a stationary camera which feeds back live images to the station in downtown Denver.
It didn’t take long before our Facebook feed of the cow elk had thousands of people watching from across the country and around the world.
When the cow showed little progress after several hours, many people asked if something could be done to help her.
When we contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife Tuesday night, officials said it appeared the cow was struggling, but said they would not intervene or assist with the natural process.
When the cow appeared to be in the same condition the next morning people became even more concerned and CPW agreed to step in.
“She’s been in labor longer than we’d normally see an elk in labor. We need to see what’s going on,” spokesperson Lauren Truitt said.
Nearly 24 hours after the public first became aware of the elk, wildlife experts traveled to the mountain, waiting to tranquilize the elk, so they can get close to see how to help her.
Wednesday night they told CBS4’s Karen Morfitt they never were able to get a good opportunity, and did not want to further stress the mother out, so they called it off for the night at about 8 p.m.
Wildlife officials planned to return Thursday morning to monitor her, as it appears she is struggling.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says there are hundreds of thousands of elk in Colorado– and it’s more than likely she isn’t the only one having a baby.
But this case is different because she plopped down right in front of our camera — and officials know roughly where to find her.
While it is their preference is to let nature take its course, this situation is unique.
CPW spokesperson Rebecca Ferrell said they would try to monitor the cow from a distance until the right opportunity presents itself.
While many question whether or not the baby will survive, Ferrell said there’s no way to know yet.
“It’s not unusual that an animal may have a still born calf that there may be death in child birth and you know it’s not fun for anyone, especially when its playing out in such a public way,” Ferrell said. “Nature is beautiful and wonderful and occasionally a little bit tragic.”
The team returned to the area Thursday morning but couldn’t find the cow.
They said they would provide additional updates if they get any new information.