Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Parks and Wildlife monitoring elk trapped up Washington Gulch

No plans for action

by Mark Reaman

A five-point bull elk appears to be wintering up Washington Gulch and Colorado Parks and Wildlife personnel are keeping an eye on him. It is not known how long he has been in the gulch just off Gothic Road between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, but given the snow depth it is assumed he is trapped in the gully.

“He is not in the worst spot. He is not in the best spot,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Gunnison region wildlife manager J Wenum. “There are some food sources down there.”

Local citizens saw the elk last month and alerted the Gunnison office. “We are aware of him and have gone up to assess the situation. We have no plans for any specific action. We will keep an eye on his body condition,” said Wenum.

Wenum said there are some willows and aspen in the area that are providing a food source for the elk. The officers are considering beating down a path in the snow so the elk can perhaps get up the gully and get across the road to where there is more food.

“If he’s getting by on his own, we try not to step in,” Wenum explained. “It is winter, so we expect him to decline a bit until spring. He also has an injured front leg but he is moving fine. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

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