SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A small herd of elk returned to the Salt Lake County club near the mouth of Parleys Canyon after officials relocated them to the mountains just last week.
The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources confirmed on Monday, March 27, that about 20 elk have migrated back down to the county golf course. So far, they have no plans of moving the elk herd yet.
“We will be discussing what to do once it stops snowing,” officials said.
The Utah Highway Patrol, along with DWR officials, successfully relocated around 100 elk on Sunday, March 19, but not before closing seven routes near Interstate 80 starting at 10 a.m.
“Seriously though, we’re very grateful to the Country Club,” said DWR Conservation Outreach Manager Scott Root. “We just had nowhere to put them. You can’t just move 80 head of elk, and so we had to wait for a Sunday morning when traffic wasn’t as bad and push them up the mountain.”
The elk herd caused a little bit of traffic trouble back in January when they congregated right next to I-80 and later ran across Foothill Drive.
Unfortunately, that was not the end of elk trouble at Parleys Canyon. A few days later, multiple elk were killed after being hit by vehicles at the I-80/I-215 interchange, prompting Utah Highway Patrol to remind drivers to watch out for them when traveling in that area.
The Division of Wildlife Resources states that the majority of the elk are near the Salt Lake Country Club golf course area, though a group of around 20-30 elk broke off from the herd and moved near the freeways.
Two other elk in the herd were injured in the crash and were forced to be euthanized as a result. The euthanized elk will reportedly be donated to the Game Meat Donation program, so the meat won’t go to waste.