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Aggressive Elk Suspected in Death of Horse


By: Kris Hazelton

On September 20, Marianna Lewis came home to find a horrific scene in her horse corral.

Her prized and much loved ‘Peacock,’ a Tennessee Walker mare was lying still and lifeless, covered with blood.

Upon closer investigation, Marianna noticed four, deep puncture wounds on her beloved horse. The deepest wound in her chest was frothing and foaming and being a nurse, Marianna knew that her horse’s lung had been punctured.

It didn’t take her long to figure out what had happened. There were elk bugling on both sides of her property and her neighbors had taken photos of a big bull who had been in their yard all that day.

Despite this terrible accident, Marianna and her husband Ed love wildlife and know that things like this can happen, she just never thought something such as this would happen to them.

Marianna’s reason for getting this story out is that she normally considers the elk “pretty benign” yet she thinks very differently now. “These animals are in the rut, the mating season. This horse was a mare and she comes into heat every month. I’ll never know exactly what happened, but the elk was probably attracted to Peacock because she was a female. Bulls become very aggressive during the rut and Peacock became a victim of his aggression.”

It’s difficult to find records of attacks such as this, but according to hunters and wildlife experts, it is rare, but not unheard of, to learn of a bull elk attack on a domesticated animal.

In this case, our hearts go out to the Lewis family for their sad and tragic loss.

Courtesy photos

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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