Collisions between cars and deer are common things around these parts, but what if that was not a deer you hit, but its much larger cousin, an elk. It could happen.
Elk have been sighted in our area, particularly in neighboring Armstrong County, and the curiosity factor could pose a risk to people. Game Commission officials are trying to determine where they came from, speculating that they may have gotten loose from someone who is raising elk, but doubting they migrated from Elk County.
A female elk has been sighted in Mahoning Township - in the New Bethlehem area - which is rather distant from here, but in the last two days another female has been spotted twice in Cowanshannock Township, which is right next door to Indiana County. It was seen Tuesday near Route 85 at the Margaret Road, and yesterday along Berdell Road, the border of Cownshannock and Kittanning townships.
Compared to adult deer, elk are much larger, and they are generally seen as being more aggressive around humans. A very large adult male deer can weigh around 300 pounds. A typical cow elk will weigh 500 pounds, and a bull elk will weigh around 800 pounds. A deer willstand 3-and-a-half to four feet tall, but an elk can get to be 8 feet tall.
There have been no elk sightings reported in Indiana County. State police in Kittanning tell residents there that if they see an elk they should call 911 so that a Game Commissioner can be dispatched.