Skull, antler illegally removed from popular elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Recently, park visitors and area photographers highlighted on social media the passing of a popular large bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, referred to as Kahuna, Bruno or Big Thirds.  He was a majestic elk with distinct large antlers and was widely photographed during his lifetime.

Numerous images were also shared of Kahuna’s carcass.  It is believed that Kahuna died of natural causes, as there were reports he was injured during last year’s mating season and was very underweight in February.

Park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park are investigating the illegal removal of Kahuna’s skull and antler from his carcass, likely sometime between March 20 and March 22.  One antler was still on the skull and it is believed his other antler had been shed before his death.

Park rangers urge anyone with information on this illegal incident to call Rocky Mountain National Park’s tip line at 970-586-1393 or email the park.  If you wish to remain anonymous please visit NPS Anonymous Tip Information.

“The skull and antlers of this popular elk were cut and illegally removed from Rocky Mountain National Park,” park officials wrote. “This elk’s remains should be allowed to return to the earth in Rocky Mountain National Park, where he brought much joy to thousands of park visitors over many years.”

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