July 7, 2021. Location: North Pond 2 (northern end of the elk reserve)
One relatively healthy male was amongst several unhealthy males and as the healthy male moved among the rest it provided quite the visual comparison. The exposed ribs are obvious, but also notice the pronounced hip and shoulder blades. The rectum is extended, inflamed, and covered in black excrement. The hip area appears collapsed rather than filled out as in the healthy male.
“I can think of no worse way to die. It is prolonged agony, where the elk are presumably hungry all of the time.” - Veterinarian Dr. Amy Allen in her testimony in the lawsuit against Point Reyes National Seashore
Watch the video below to see a healthy male with a diseased male.
Unwary tourists walked past us “happy to see wildlife” even as Mathew P. Kline and I instead observed a very different scene than what the tourists were seeing.
Words from the Pacific Sun article that investigated the necropsies of deceased elk in the reserve came to mind as we watched.
“Three of the necropsied elk were found alive, unable to stand or lift their heads; they expired within hours or were euthanized by gunshot. Before he passed, one young male, a “spike,” was “observed laying down, kicking and unable to right itself.” As with the other emaciated elk, the spike’s muscle, fat and bone marrow were severely atrophied; his body was eating itself. He perished foaming at the mouth and nose. His abdomen was swollen with excess fluid, and he suffered from hepatitis and liver abscesses. Worms were devouring the linings of his lungs, trachea and intestines. He died from starvation and maladies tied to mineral deficiencies and eating poisonous plants.”
"His abdomen was swollen with excess fluid, and he suffered from hepatitis and liver abscesses. Worms were devouring the linings of his lungs, trachea and intestines." - Necropsy report
It is hard not to think of the black waters of the disgusting puddle the elk are forced to drink from as I also look at their blackened backsides, proclaiming the presence of disease the elk may very well have gotten from the water.
#nationalparks #tulelek #starvation #dehydration #poison #disease #elkreserve #pointreyes #pointreyesnationalseashore #deathbydesign #animalabuse #intentionaldeath #pacificsun #inverness #melaniegunn #davepress #craigkenkel
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