Tags: drone | elk | stampede | wyoming

Drone Elk Stampede: Unmanned Aircraft Spooks Animals in Refuge

Image: Drone Elk Stampede: Unmanned Aircraft Spooks Animals in Refuge

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By    |   Friday, 24 Feb 2017 02:59 PM

A man’s drone caused an elk stampede on Monday at the National Elk Refuge in western Wyoming.

There were 1,500 elk involved in the stampede that lasted for half a mile, according to The Associated Press.

The stampede started after the owner of the drone flew the unmanned aircraft over the herd of elk.

Refuge spokeswoman Lori Iverson said Thursday that the owner, who hasn't been identified, received a $280 fine.

Fine as high as $5,000 are possible for disturbing wildlife, the AP noted.

A sleigh ride driver spotted the drone and saw the stampede transpire, which prompted him to contact local authorities, the Jackson Hole Daily noted.

The owner of the drone was apologetic.

“He felt really bad,” Iverson said, according to The Drive. “He was just unaware of the regulations.”

According to Deputy Refuge Manager Chris Dippel, this isn’t the first time that a drone has flown over the National Elk Refuge.

“There are plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities for people on the National Elk Refuge during the winter,” Dippel said, according to The Drive. “We ask people to do use caution and good wildlife ethics while viewing and photographing animals.”

Unmanned aircraft, like drones, are prohibited in wildlife areas and are restricted from traveling within five miles of airports and within two miles of a helibase, according to the Jackson Hole Daily.

These aircraft are also prohibited from flying in national parks, such as Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

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A man's drone caused an elk stampede on Monday at the National Elk Refuge in western Wyoming.
drone, elk, stampede, wyoming
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2017-59-24
Friday, 24 Feb 2017 02:59 PM
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