Stupid Wyoming Tourist Was Right After All
We would like to correct an earlier story. Maybe. We are not sure.
On December 20th, 2017, we reported that a woman in Jackson Wyoming called 911 to report a “huge group of deer who looked lost.”
According to the Jackson Hole News and Guide, the lady became concerned after watching several deer gather in a nearby parking lot. The dispatcher educated the caller about the migration patterns of deer and explained that, although they may look lost, the animals know where they are going.
We also hinted that the lady who called 911 might need to be added to the list of "stupid tourist" who make headlines in Wyoming every year.
But hold on, she might have been right.
Wyoming Public Media is now reporting that Elk in Jackson have "Forgotten How To Migrate."
Elk Refuge biologist, Eric Cole, is saying that only 2% of elk attempt the migration from Jackson to Yellostone. That is sharply down from the over 50% who used to make the trek.
Apparently elk calves no longer know the routes. Cole said elk calves have to learn them from their mothers.
“It’s not individual elk deciding their going to change where they migrate to,” he said. “What’s happening is the percentage of calves that survive to adulthood is much lower for these Yellowstone migrants compared to the short distance migrants.”
If that is the case then the crazy stupid tourist in Jackson may have not been so crazy or stupid. Perhaps that is why the herd was just standing around in a parking lot looking so confused.
"Are we supposed to be somewhere?"
But maybe there is another explanation. Another story by Wyoming Public Media is of a study that predicts a sharp downturn in visitors to Yellowstone now that the price of admission has gone from $30 to $70.
Maybe these young elk do know where to go but are just not willing to pay the higher price.
Either way, we would like to apologize the the nice lady for suggesting she is stupid. Apparently she was on to something.