Leaping elk crashes low-flying research helicopter

Published on February 13, 2018 at 01:34PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say a leaping elk brought down a research helicopter trying to capture the animal in the mountains of eastern Utah.

Wasatch County authorities say the elk jumped into the chopper’s tail rotor as the craft flew low, trying to capture the animal with a net.

The two people on board weren’t seriously hurt, but wildlife officials say the elk died of its injuries.

The state-contracted Australian crew had been trying to capture and sedate the elk so they could collar it and research its movements about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

Tonya Kieffer with the Division of Wildlife Resources tells the Salt Lake Tribune it’s the first time something like this has happened while crews use helicopters to monitor wildlife.