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

Midnight fist fight leads to arrest in Vernon

An Edmonton man was arrested following the fight; the other man has not yet been located

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

Vernon summer concert series extended

Extra week added to Downtown Vernon Association’s popular summer concerts at city hall

Dog lost in Vernon, do not approach

Owner on the hunt for her fur baby, Kasper

Pickleball tourney swinging into Vernon

More than 300 players will compete in the tournament’s third year.

Memorial grows for teen who drowned in Okanagan Lake

Jaxsn Cahill drowned at Gellatly Bay Park in West Kelowna on Aug. 17

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen in Walmart parking lot

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Shuswap SPCA seeks funds to treat dog that may lose an eye

Two surgeries for severe eye infection unsuccessful, removal a consideration

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Most Read