Seventeen elk lately died in central Idaho after being hit by a semi-truck. The accident occurred on Monday evening in Howe, Idaho. The truck was hauling cattle when the incident occurred.  “There was most likely 50 to 100 [elk] within the highway,” Brian Mays, an area rancher advised East Idaho Information. “[The truck driver] received 17 of them.”

Idaho Division of Fish and Sport (IDFG) officers responded to the scene of the accident. Among the elk had been already useless whereas others had been severely injured and needed to be euthanized. Salvaging highway kill is authorized in Idaho, and officers say that native households recovered many of the meat.  “Elk meat is superb, and the economic system being the best way it’s, persons are all about getting some free recent meat within the freezer,” mentioned James Brower, IDFG regional communications supervisor. 

The accident occurred as large recreation animals are fighting excessive snow depths in Idaho and elsewhere within the West. The big snowpack has concentrated animals close to human infrastructure, together with haystacks on ranches. In truth, the herd that was hit in Howe was standing on the highway close to a farmer’s haystack. 

Idaho normally doesn’t resort to feeding wildlife in winter. However this yr, IDGF workers and volunteers have arrange feeding places away from extra developed areas. They’ve additionally labored to haze wildlife away from farms, particularly as a result of wild ungulates like elk can carry ailments that may infect livestock. 

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Except for this incident, a number of herds of untamed elk have additionally been noticed on either side of Interstate-15, a serious artery within the space. Lots of the elk are consuming from haystacks subsequent to the Interstate on Fort Corridor Indian Reservation, which belongs to Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. A current rely tallied greater than 6,500 elk making an attempt to winter on the reservation this yr—which is greater than traditional. 

“It has to do with habitat fragmentation,” mentioned Tom Wadsworth, Shoshone-Bannock Fish and Sport Division captain in a press launch. “Current fires have burned winter ranges throughout us.”

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