Big Kahuna

Photo by Dawn Wilson.

On April 9, 2022, Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers were notified of an elk skull with only one attached antler matching the one missing from the carcass of the popular large bull elk, referred to as Kahuna. During the investigation, it was learned that the skull had been relocated after being cut from the carcass. At this time, no further information will be provided regarding the ongoing investigation.

Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers want to thank the media, social media platforms as well as members of the local community in helping discover the whereabouts of this skull and antler.

In March, 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. Likely sometime between March 20 and March 22, someone cut and illegally removed the skull and remaining antler from the carcass. It is believed his other antler had been shed before his death.

Park rangers urge anyone with information on this illegal incident, including information on the remaining shed antler, to call 1-888-653-0009 or please visit NPS Anonymous Tip Information. This link will provide several ways to report what you know anonymously. If you have information that could help investigators, please contact us. You do not have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know.

Rocky Mountain National Park’s wildlife is a resource for all to enjoy and protect. Collection of antlers or removing wildlife or their parts is illegal within Rocky Mountain National Park. People can receive criminal charges and be mandated to appear in federal court. Please help the park protect wildlife by reporting any suspicious activity.

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