train kills elk

Remember When 31 Elk Were Killed in an Idaho Train Accident?

Idaho recently saw an absolutely tragic animal-vehicle collision.

According to a report from the Idaho State Journal, a Union Pacific train moving between Montpelier and Soda Springs, Idaho, collided with a herd of elk in the early hours of Jan. 25.

Upon arrival, Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officers had no choice but to dispatch several injured animals and remove several more from the railroad tracks.

Fortunately, 10 of the elk were salvageable, so Idaho Fish and Game officials offered them to local residents with the help of one local citizen who volunteered his front-end loader to help load them into people's trucks.

This isn't the first time an freight train has collided with Idaho wildlife, as 47 antelope were killed near Dietrich last year, as were 58 deer in 2004.

According to Woodbury Outfitters, the largest animal-vehicle collision on record was back in 1976, when a train struck 132 antelope near American Falls.

Luckily, no one was injured as a result of the accident, and wildlife officials don't think the elk population will feel an impact because of it, as the herds are so healthy in southeast Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game officials cautions members of the community who travel between Sugar City and Rexburg, as there's a known elk herd about 100 miles north that was seen crossing back and forth over Highway 20 and Highway 33.

While it's always sad to hear about accidents that take a big-game animal in the process, it's nice to hear this one ended with no injuries and salvageable elk meat!

It's always good to drive in with extra caution in remote areas; whitetail deer can total a car just as easily as an elk. Always use your brights when you're on a road without any traffic, and keep your eye on the shoulders of the road, as an animal could pop out at any minute.