On the morning of February 15, 2019 a visitor reported a dead cow elk on Upper Hoh Road in Olympic National Park. U.S. Park Rangers, with the assistance of officers with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, investigated and discovered the cow elk had been killed sometime between February 14 and the early morning hours of February 15. The carcass was within yards of the roadway and no attempt was made to harvest the meat.
Olympic National Park protects the largest population of Roosevelt elk in its natural environment in the world. Decades of protection from human harvest and habitat manipulation have sustained not only high densities of elk, but also preserved the natural composition, social structure, and dynamics of this unique coastal form of elk found in the Pacific Northwest and nowhere else.
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