South Carolina residents are getting too close to this bull elk.
A few weeks ago, we told you about the exciting news that an elk had been sighted in South Carolina for the first time since the Revolutionary War.
The elk made headlines across the U.S. when it first appeared in the northern part of the state’s Pickens County in late October.
But now, authorities are getting concerned, because excited residents are getting way too close to the young bull. WYFF 4 reports the South Carolina Department of Natural resources is noticing a disturbing number of people approaching the elk and even feeding and petting it.
“This elk is a wild animal and not domesticated,” South Carolina Wildlife biologist Tammy Wactor told the news station. “It has become accustomed to people, so it will allow people to approach it, but it is unpredictable, and this behavior can create dangerous situations. We are asking the public to respect the elk’s presence by keeping their distance.”
She additionally told the station the DNR is hoping the bull will go back north to the mountains, where there is a herd of elk. They are concerned about the effect people approaching the animal may have on it, not to mention the public’s well-being.
The safety issues are no joke. The internet is chock-full of videos of people who got way too close to an elk at the wrong time.
“When people approach the elk or try to feed it, it can affect the elk’s behavior and travel patterns, and it also has the potential to create public safety issues,” Wactor said.