by George Plavin, EO Media Group
When a horse turned up dead earlier this month in rural Wallowa County, Oregon, after an apparent bloody struggle, wolves were investigated as the primary target.
The evidence, however, soon pointed to a much more unlikely suspect.
Wildlife officials determined the horse, which was found dead Sept. 18 in a pasture along the upper Imnaha River, had actually been gored by a bull elk — a scenario they admit is extremely rare, though not entirely unheard of.
The unusual ruling is tough for some local ranchers to believe in an area where suspicion of wolves runs high. But the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife says its examination clears the predators this time, and places the responsibility on the antlers of a feisty elk.
“It is breeding season for elk. Bulls are very aggressive this time of year,” said Mike Hansen, district wildlife biologist with ODFW in Enterprise.
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Source: Capital Press