COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - An internet-famous elk has come to make his forever home at the Texas A&M Winnie Carter Wildlife Center.
“Waldo Elliott” is a 1.5-year old elk who came to Aggieland from Idaho. His fame comes from his desire to be around humans, not other elk.
“He was raised by some people in Idaho, probably because his mother left him or abandoned him for some reason,” said Alice Blue-McLendon, director of the Winnie Carter Wildlife Center.
Elliott’s human family was told to let him go in the neighborhood, which they did, but things didn’t go as expected.
“He was walking up to the neighbors and scaring them,” said Blue-McLendon.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game even became involved, but it soon became clear that Elliott would never develop normal wild elk behavior. He simply kept approaching humans, no matter how far away from them he was placed.
Finally, a couple of outdoor enthusiasts created the ”Save Elliott” Facebook page, to try to find him a safer permanent home.
Eventually, the story landed in the lap of Blue-McLendon, and it was decided that Elliott would reside under the care of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.
While Waldo Elliott may seem a tourist attraction, he is not available to meet the general public.
“However, within just a few days, Elliott had Aggie visitors from Idaho,” said Blue-McLendon.
Now, Blue-McLendon says she and her team are prepared to care for Waldo Elliott, and she looks forward to the learning opportunity for her students.
As for the elk himself, he will be learning to acclimate to Texas weather.
“I am a little concerned for him next summer,” said Blue-McLendon. “It was 80 degrees just the other day, and he already thought that was hot.”
For the full introduction to Waldo Elliott, see the video player above.