Idaho Fish and Game officers have returned a bull elk to the wild after it paid a visit to Garden City.
Around 9:15 Thursday night a Garden City resident called the Garden City Police Department to report an elk in a vacant lot at 42nd and Adams Street. The officer verified the elk was foraging in the vacant lot, and called Fish and Game Conservation Officer Bill London. Officer London responded to find a bull elk that appeared to be stressed. London observed spectators who were getting too close to the elk; some even trying to take "selfies" with it. This interaction caused the stress which led to the young bull running through the Garden City neighborhood, including Veteran's Parkway, a main thoroughfare.
"When people get this close to a wild animal, the stress not only creates potential harm to the animal and to the public," London said "the increased adrenaline can also make it difficult to tranquilize an animal."
Garden City Police agreed this situation created a risk to the elk and to people living and driving in the area. It was clear the best solution would be to relocate the elk, which eventually returned to the vacant lot to feed.
Garden City Police were able to keep people, their dogs and cars at a distance, and the elk eventually bedded down. Fish and Game veterinarian Mark Drew took this opportunity to dart the elk with tranquilizers.
With the help of Garden City Police and Fish and Game employees, Conservation Officer Rob Brazie loaded the elk into a horse trailer and drove it to a location north of Horseshoe Bend where it was released unharmed.