Idaho Wildlife Officials Discover Massive Elk Graveyard

Elk graveyard
Idaho Fish & Game

This looks like a scene straight from a sci-fi movie.

We’ve all seen the alien movies where the last few survivors stumble across a massive landfill of human remains, and I feel like that’s simply an unwritten rule to add into these types of movies.

Or that scene from the Lion King when Simba learns about the Elephant Graveyard, the one place he’s not supposed to go (and does anyway and winds up getting his dad killed).

However, for a number of officials with Idaho Fish and Game, this fictional movie scene was practically a reality for them here recently.

According to Northwest Sportsman, the officials stumbled upon a massive pile of remains from what they called an “elk boneyard,” near Lewiston at Craig Mountain.

They discovered at least 15 elk heads, as well as fur, broken legs, and a ton of other bones.

They were led to the location via mortality signal from a radio-collared animal earlier this year, and needless to say, they could’ve never fathomed what they would walk into.

Although they found three more collars, senior wildlife technician Mark Shepard noted that it was incredibly difficult to figure out which limbs belonged to which elk:

“I’m sure some scavenging, but with so many bones, hard to say which ones go to which collar.”

He added that a landslide is most likely the cause of this massive gravesite, as there was a lot of rubble surrounding the elk remains:

“With scree material and boulders up to the size of beach balls, it appeared that at least 15 elk were traversing and side hilling near the top of a ridgeline only to be caught up in a landslide.

Bringing them down almost 1,000 feet over just a distance of 300-400 yards, this group of elk was caught up in rubble and snow ultimately resulting in death.

Natural events such as avalanches and rock slides often occur without being observed and it is generally unknown how these events influence wildlife. This event provides evidence that natural events such as this can influence a wildlife population.

Collars placed on multiple species across the state over the span of months and years, allow Idaho Department of Fish and Game to inform management decisions on preserving, protecting, and perpetuating wildlife for continued use and enjoyment of the public.”

Landslide? UFO experiment?

I think I’ll go with the conspiracy theory… It’s a lot more entertaining.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock