- Rocky Mountain Bull Elk
Idaho has elk issues in two parts of the state.
For years, motorists along a stretch of Highway 75 in the Wood River Valley have faced the problem of elk wandering onto the roadway. Three Christmases ago, a group of Hailey schoolkids even launched a "Keep Them Alive on 75" initiative.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Transportation Department reduced nighttime speed limits on sections of the highway and a local nonprofit is also raising funds for a new wildlife-detection system to alert drivers of the presence of animals.
Now, Idaho Fish and Game officials tell the Associated Press that heavy snowfall in the mountains has pushed more animals into the Wood River Valley as they look for food. IDFG reportedly disposed of 10 elk carcasses in the region and more animals have been involved in vehicle crashes in recent weeks.
In northern Idaho, law enforcement reports a herd of elk have been "hanging out dangerously close" to Interstate 90, and the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office said the animals have been "terrorizing" drivers, causing nearly a half-dozen accidents.
The herd has even earned its own nickname: The Milepost 48 Gang, hanging out between the communities of Kellogg and Smelterville.
Spokane, Wash.-based KREM-TV reports the herd has included between 10 and 50 animals over the past two years. Officials said the herd has probably been pushed to residential areas by wolves in the mountains.