Leaping elk crashes low-flying research helicopter in Utah - WAAYTV.com - Huntsville, Alabama - News Weather, Sports |

Leaping elk crashes low-flying research helicopter in Utah

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • The Latest: Hawley expects 'thorough' House investigation

    The Latest: Hawley expects 'thorough' House investigation

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:59 AM EST2018-02-23 13:59:24 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:29 PM EST2018-02-23 20:29:52 GMT
    (St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.  A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has canceled plans to attend an annual meeting of the nation's governors following his indictment stemming from an extramarital affair.
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has canceled plans to attend an annual meeting of the nation's governors following his indictment stemming from an extramarital affair.
  • US asks judge to approve seizure of 'Pharma Bro' assets

    US asks judge to approve seizure of 'Pharma Bro' assets

    Friday, February 23 2018 12:14 AM EST2018-02-23 05:14:27 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:29 PM EST2018-02-23 20:29:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2017 file photo, Martin Shkreli is interviewed by Maria Bartiromo during her "Mornings with Maria Bartiromo" program on the Fox Business Network, in New York. "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli is due bac...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2017 file photo, Martin Shkreli is interviewed by Maria Bartiromo during her "Mornings with Maria Bartiromo" program on the Fox Business Network, in New York. "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli is due bac...
    'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli is due back in court for a hearing about whether he should forfeit millions of dollars in assets including a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album as part of his conviction in a securities...
    'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli is due back in court for a hearing about whether he should forfeit millions of dollars in assets including a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album as part of his conviction in a securities fraud scheme.
  • More Republicans questioning if Greitens should stay

    More Republicans questioning if Greitens should stay

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:04 AM EST2018-02-23 13:04:49 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 3:29 PM EST2018-02-23 20:29:43 GMT
    (St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.  A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP). A booking photo provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Greit...
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.
    Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defiant, even amid calls for impeachment or resignation, after a St. Louis grand jury indicts him for felony invasion of privacy.

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An elk leaped into a research helicopter that was trying to capture it and brought down the helicopter in a collision that also killed the elk, authorities said Tuesday.

The elk jumped into the chopper's tail rotor as the aircraft flew about 10 feet (3 meters) above ground in a mountainous part of eastern Utah, with its crew trying to drop a net on the elk, said Jared Rigby of the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office.

The two people on board weren't seriously hurt, but the elk died of its injuries Monday afternoon.

The state-contracted Texas-based crew was trying to capture and sedate the elk and give it a tracking collar to research its movements in the area about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Salt Lake City.

Helicopters are a frequently used and essential tool for monitoring remote wildlife in Utah, said Mark Hadley with the state Division of Wildlife Resources.

The tracking collars help wildlife officials monitor elk migration paths and survival rates. The state captures about 1,300 animals each winter, almost all using helicopters, and Tuesday's downing of the helicopter was the first accident of its kind, he said.

The crew had launched a net it catch the animal, but when that didn't immediately work the pilot started to slow down so someone could jump out and hobble the elk, Hadley said. As the helicopter slowed down, the elk collided with the rotor, Hadley said.

The helicopter was damaged on its tail rotor, right skid and underside, Rigsby said.

State officials will review the incident that appears to have been a fluke accident, Hadley said.

Environmental groups have protested the use of helicopters to monitor wildlife.

The group Wilderness Watch is objecting to a plan to study mountain goats using helicopters in a central-Utah wilderness area, calling the aircraft "unnecessary intrusion into some of our most treasured lands," according to the Deseret News.

___

This story has been corrected to show the helicopter crew was based in Texas, not Australia.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WAAY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.