Herd of Elk Pose Traffic & Property Damage Concern in East Idaho
REXBURG, Idaho (KLIX)-A herd of about 100 elk are creating a potential traffic safety risk in eastern Idaho. On Monday the heard moved into an area between the towns of Sugar city and Rexburg along highways 20 and 33 creating a concern for drivers headed through the area, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
The local sheriff and Idaho Transportation Department are taking steps to warn drivers of the potential hazard with warning signs along the highways. Fish and Game says the location of the herd creates a challenge of removing them, “They are in a tough spot to move given their proximity to Highway 20, Highway 33 and the high density of fences in the area,” said Wildlife Manager Curtis Hendricks with Fish and Game in a prepared statement. “There is nowhere to push them without causing potential safety concerns.”
Several of the animals have GPS tracking collars on them that showed the animals migrated from the Teton canyon area. Hendriks says recent weather may have pushed the elk down to lower elevations to find food. Fish and Game officials say it is not uncommon for herds to move closer to towns and communities to find food, especially when the snow is not as deep and there are haystacks available. Wildlife managers say they are working with local landowners to help prevent damage to property and keep the animals away from haystacks.