Elk raised in captivity from Sweet Idaho

Photo: IDFG

BOISE, ID - The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says a human-habituated bull elk from the Sweet, Idaho area has found a “forever” home in Texas.

After six weeks at a Fish and Game facility, the elk left Idaho early Thursday morning, ultimately bound for Texas A&M University where it will become part of the school’s wildlife management and veterinarian programs.

The 400-pound bull elk was illegally removed from the wild in the spring of 2018 and raised in captivity by a person who thought the animal was abandoned.  The animal became a potential safety risk to the community of Sweet this summer as it roamed the streets and showed no fear of humans. The elk was captured and released in Bear Valley with the hope that it would integrate with wild elk herds in the area. Instead, the animal sought out humans, resulting in its recapture. That’s when the search began for an accredited facility that could take the animal.

The elk will join a number of native and exotic wildlife species which roam the university’s animal paddock including white-tailed deer, fallow deer, zebra, antelope and ostrich. “Of the alternatives available, A&M was the best place for this elk to land,” Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew noted. “He will be well cared for and enjoy a good life at this world-class facility.”