Thursday 10 October 2013

A large elk was running about in Ottawa!

The police chased him, full-grown male estimated to be 800 lbs, for 6 hours, starting at a 7:30 a.m. 911 call. SIX HOURS! The 'man-in-the-street' interviews are ridiculous. City folk who know nothing about these massive, wild beasts. People who brought little toddlers to watch something that could have been gruesome. (What are they thinking?)

Of course, some bleeding heart reporters are playing all the sound bytes of people mourning the death of this poor animal. I just heave a sigh.

Thankfully, they finally interviewed an elk farmer, who explained how dangerous they are in rutting season and how difficult they are to catch. The reporter says she thought they they could have brought in some cows to calm the big boy down. As if! In a wooded area of the larger city. No guarantees. After sex they don't have a cigarette and fall asleep! What drives these beasts are the four F's: FIGHT, FLIGHT, FOOD and FORNICATE!

Add to this recipe for danger, is the fact that it is rutting season. They are horny and unpredictable!
Lake Superior Park- elk tracks!
Tranquilizers do not work, as you have to be close, the darts don't fly in a straight line, nor are they shot fast, like a bullet, or it could kill the animal. The drugs are expensive and not usually stocked by vets. To tranquilize it doesn't mean it totally konks out. First, it'll run like stink (FLIGHT).  We're back to the lasso. It's a wild animal in a city.
I post a hoof print from our trip to Lake Superior Park. They are massive. This isn't a little buck, but a dangerous beast, on the loose near the O-Train tracks. It could run for miles.

"Bring him somewhere."said one observer. How? Cowboys are few and far between, as well as their horses. You cannot lasso them and lead them gently into a truck! Their antlers are amazing. They are in rut, and we know what horny males are like! Rumour was, that it swam across the Ottawa River, into the city.
They ended up bringing in a police sharp shooter to put all of us out of our misery and to put the police back on the streets.
Twitter, bless their little hearts, is singing the death knell for this beast. In fact, better to put it down and use the meat, which is what the rumours are saying. There were several Native People on hand. Thankfully. At least the fresh carcass could be harvested by those who know how. The Odawa Native Friendship Centre is a great resource centre in downtown Ottawa.
They put out a press release (PDF):
"The Odawa Native Friendship Centre would have liked to see the elk freed into the wilderness however as an Aboriginal community center, the reaction to the elk being put down was to ask how the remains would be used. It is traditional for Aboriginal people, to use all parts of a hunted animal from the antlers, teeth, hide, etc. After several hours of investigating, Odawa staff were able to secure the remaining parts of the elk which includes the antlers, teeth, and hind quarters. A ceremony was done shortly after. Thank you to the staff who were diligent in their efforts as well as the elders, traditional hunters and helpers." 
We visited Algonquin Park and saw the moose there. These are much more tranquil beasts, especially not in rut in the spring. It was a lovely photo-op. They are HUGE.

The deer around our house are all over the road. I recall, one morning, a motorist hit a deer. One of our local OPP happened by and shot it to put it out of its misery. A hunter, used to preparing the meat, took the carcass away. He and the OPP officer, bless her heart, helped put it into his truck. I was grateful. Otherwise, it sits in the ditch until the wolf or the coyotes eat it up.

The poor animal lovers are shocked. Little do they hear the hunters at dawn at dusk around our place. It's duck season. Here's the poor deer, one of many roadkill around our place.
Drivers, just slow down.


Icy BC said...

Such a great sighting, and a few heart stopping moments for sure!

Kay L. Davies said...

Yes, it is sad when a wild animal has to be shot just for being in the wrong place, but the truth is that it was in the wrong place!
I am a confirmed tree-hugger, but to put people's lives in danger in a futile effort to save a massive creature which is not only all the things you mentioned, but also afraid of the strangeness of urban surroundings, would have been madness.
I'm sorry the elk somehow found itself in our nation's capital, and wish it could have stayed where it was supposed to be.
PS—Yes, "meese" are much more docile, but are very large, and can be pretty scary, too, when frightened.

Red said...

We live in their territory. Too many people do not realize that this is someone else's territory.

eileeninmd said...

I love to see the animals from a distance. And surely not in the ROAD!