Elk herd crossing Highway 97A in search of food

Snow at higher elevations forces herd to move into valleys

Why did the elk cross the road near Enderby?

Likely in search of food, says Andrew Walker, a wildlife biologist with the provincial ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD).

And drivers who travel Highway 97A between Salmon Arm and Vernon should keep a close eye on the straight stretch near the Starlight Drive-in, because Walker believes there’s a good chance the herd of about 70 elk will cross the road again.

There are several other herds in the Upper Shuswap that may mix with each other in different times of the year, he says, pointing out that recent snow has brought them down from higher elevations.

Read more: Elk herd crosses highway in B.C.’s Okanagan

Read more: Elk running across Enderby highway killed in car crash

“We don’t really know why they moved, but I would speculate they were just going to where there is food to support them without being disturbed,” Walker says, noting the elk may have been disturbed from the new site. “There are small herds scattered from Falkland all the way up to Cherryville; they’ve been around for a long time and they’re probably doing a little better.”

Read more: Column: Elk moving up into Shuswap area

Walker says there have been recent reports that elk have been moving into the Thompson region in search of new food sources. While a formal inventory of the herd near Enderby has not been done, Walker says it is on his to-do list.

“We pick them up incidentally on moose surveys and get lots of reports from the ranching community, so we loosely keep inventory,” he says.

While they haven’t had complaints this winter, Walker says elk will help themselves to hay and stored feed if it’s not properly secured. And the herbivores, who enjoy shrubs and grass, will view a nutritious field of alfalfa as a delicious buffet.

In the meantime, Walker says he’s thankful the herd is, so far, crossing the road on a straight stretch with excellent visibility.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Second cannabis store in the works for Revelstoke

City Council approved a development variance permit for Revelsmoke Aug. 13

No public comments on Mackenzie Village development agreement amendments

Revelstoke City Council held a public hearing and heard one written comment and none in-person

Author of Emily Carr books coming to speak in Revelstoke

Laurie Carter will be at the Revelstoke library on Sept. 26

Photos: Railway Days at Revelstoke Railway Museum 2019

Today was Railway Days at the Revelstoke Railway Museum. There was food,… Continue reading

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read