33 Elk Die at Central Idaho Winter Feeding Station
KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says 33 elk died at a central Idaho feeding station over the winter.
Agency spokesman Kelton Hatch says 22 elk, mostly calves, either starved because larger elk prevented them from getting food or were trampled. He says mountain lions killed 11 elk. Hatch tells the Idaho Mountain Express that about 180 elk spent the winter at the feeding site near Ketchum and an 18 percent mortality rate is not unusual.
A veterinarian says two of the dead calves had no fat around the abdominal area. Hatch says the confined topography of the feeding station in a side drainage might have contributed to the number of elk deaths. He says the elk's natural winter habitat is lower in the valley, but that area is now covered by houses.