A Rail Link train traveling east of Helena struck and killed part of a Montana elk herd causing the deaths of 23 animals.
The intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Spokane Creek Road east of Helena, Montana was the scene of a grizzly accident between a Montana Rail Link train and a herd of elk.
When it was all over, some 23 elk lie dead on and around the tracks. Game Warden Sgt. Dave Loewen said, “Pretty much when a 60-mile-per-hour train hits an elk, they explode on impact and there’s not much left. It’s pretty devastating.”
Wardens responded to the scene of devastation to inspect and flag the animals. Once seen by officials they were immediately deemed unfit for human consumption. Montana Rail Link employees moved quickly to remove the carcasses.
MRL said in an e-mail, “It is not a common occurrence for a train to collide with such a large number of animals. It is standard operating practice for MRL to notify Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s officials in these rare cases.”
Sad as it is that so many fine elk were killed, it’s sadder yet that the meat could not be used for donation to a food pantry.