In British Columbia, one lonely, relocated bull elk roams the wild, asking why he's been separated from his beloved.
The lovesick mammal, identified only as "The Elk," had been hanging around Greg Messner's ranch for about three years, according to The Canadian Press.
For the first two years, it seemed too shy to make a move. That all changed this year, however, when the huge bull elk finally got up to the nerve to approach Messner's cows.
"This year, he decided to go for it," Messner, the owner of 100 Mile Ranch, told the Canadian Press. The Elk dominated the bull cows, in both size and aggression, which gave him a definite advantage during rutting season, when he found a frequent "partner" in one particularly frisky, if unconventional, cow.
"If you were there watching, it would be an X-rated movie. Several times a day," Messner added.
Elk, which are also known as wapiti, can grow between 4 and 5 feet tall and weigh up to 1,100 pounds, according to National Geographic. However, an elk's antlers can be about 4 feet, making the animal appear to be closer to 9 feet tall.
This particular elk's romantic activities, however, became somewhat of a tourist attraction, according to CBC News.
"It's creating traffic jams on the highway," conservation officer James Zucchelli told CBC. "People are stalking it and trying to get close to it for photos and it's just becoming a bit of a celebrity – so it's on the front page of [the] paper now, now it's the talk of the town."
But the final straw came when Messner noticed The Elk was starting to attract a good deal of unwanted attention from hunters who were drooling over the bull's six-point rack and following his movements through the scopes of their rifles.
Although hunting is not permitted in the British Columbia area, the territory is notorious for having great elk specimens, according to hunting site Cabelas Outdoor Adventures.
In September and October, a seven-day guided elk hunt was being advertised for $7,500 on the site, "with optional additional moose for $3000 trophy fee."
Messner, with help from the conservation office and Royal Mounties, sedated the elk, removed his horns (to make him less of a target for hunters) and left the animal 20 kilometres (about 12 miles) outside the town.
The distance may do little to stop the amorous desires of The Elk and his star-crossed lover(s), however. Messner predicts he will be back. As the Bard once said, "parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow."
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