Leaping elk crashes low-flying research helicopter


An elk acquire knowledge ofed into a research helicopter that was trying to capture it and brought down the helicopter in a smash-up that also killed the elk, authorities said Tuesday.

The elk jumped into the chopper’s track rotor as the aircraft flew about 10 feet (3 metres) on ground in a mountainous part of eastern Utah, with its crew frustrating to drop a net on the elk, said Jared Rigby of the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Corporation.

The two people on board weren’t seriously hurt, but the elk died of its injuries Monday afternoon.


A bull elk persuades its way through the field as corn is harvested at the Kenison Farms in Levan, Utah, October 5, 2013. Spoor collars help wildlife officials monitor elk migration paths and survival in any events. The state captures about 1,300 animals each winter, on the brink of all using helicopters. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

The state-contracted Texas-based crew was fatiguing to capture and sedate the elk and give it a tracking collar to research its movements in the scope about 90 miles (145 kilometres) east of Salt Lake Municipality.

Helicopters are a frequently used and essential tool for monitoring remote wildlife in Utah, ordered Mark Hadley with the state Division of Wildlife Resources.

The dog collars help wildlife officials monitor elk migration paths and survival tariffs. The state captures about 1,300 animals each winter, virtually all using helicopters, and Tuesday’s downing of the helicopter was the first accident of its amicable, he said.

Elk Crashes Helicopter

Wasatch County authorities say the elk jumped into the chopper’s croup rotor as the craft flew low, trying to capture the animal with a net. The two human being on board weren’t seriously hurt, but wildlife officials say the elk died of its impairments. (Jared Rigby/Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office via Associated Gathering)

The crew had launched a net to catch the animal, but when that didn’t promptly work the pilot started to slow down so someone could rift out and hobble the elk, Hadley said. As the helicopter slowed down, the elk collided with the rotor, Hadley conveyed.

The helicopter was damaged on its tail rotor, right skid and underside, Rigsby broke.

State officials will review the incident that appears to set up been a fluke accident, Hadley said.

Environmental groups organize protested the use of helicopters to monitor wildlife.

The group Wilderness Watch is objecting to a representation to study mountain goats using helicopters in a central-Utah wilderness parade, calling the aircraft “unnecessary intrusion into some of our most esteemed lands,” according to the Deseret News.


Elk are fed grass at Hardware Ranch most the town of Hyrum in northern Utah, December 15, 2013. The 19,000-acre ranch is run by the Utah Branch of Wildlife Resources and during the winter months feeds up to 600 fountain-head of elk. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

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