Tags: orphaned | elk | nuzzles | firefighters | washington

Orphaned Elk Nuzzles Firefighters Battling Blaze in Washington State

Image: Orphaned Elk Nuzzles Firefighters Battling Blaze in Washington State
In this Saturday, July 2, 2016 photo provided by Kittitas County Fire & Rescue shows an affectionate elk greeting Kittitas County Fire & Rescue firefighter Jonas Smith over the holiday weekend as they worked to tame a wildfire in Kittias County, Wash. (Richelle Risdon/Kittitas County Fire & Rescue via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 10:59 AM

An orphaned elk nuzzled firefighters in Washington state this past holiday weekend as they worked to quell a wildfire near Cle Elum.

The elk is a reported regular in Kittitas County, lives among cows and goats in the area, and has been nicknamed Buttons by local residents, according to The Associated Press.

Kittitas County Fire District spokeswoman Richelle Risdon told the news service that the elk nuzzled up to everyone in the district's command post area and rested her head on many people's shoulders.

The fire district posted pictures of the elk on Facebook this past Sunday, noting that the animal walked up to the post while the unit was fighting the blaze at U.S. Highway 10 and Hart Road.

"She is making her rounds giving kisses to each firefighter and officer here," read the Kittitas County Fire District's Facebook post.



Chane Roghair told the Daily Record in 2015 that Buttons has become a sort of "neighborhood mascot" because the elk often roams the hillside alongside the U.S. Highway 10.

"She's actually really friendly," Roghair told the Daily Record. "I think everybody in the county knows her. … She showed up here when she was little and adopted the goats and horses as her family, and she just stayed around."

The Daily Record reported then that Buttons has also made it over to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, where the people call her Ellie. The elk would nuzzle up to residents there for attention, noted the newspaper.

"The chimps are like her pets," J.B. Mulcahy, co-director of the sanctuary, told the Daily Record. "She sits and watches. … We love having her around. She tries to come in the house. She ripped off the screen of our house."

The elk won over many commenters on Facebook.





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An orphaned elk nuzzled firefighters in Washington state this past holiday weekend as they worked to quell a wildfire near Cle Elum.
orphaned, elk, nuzzles, firefighters, washington
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2016-59-07
Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 10:59 AM
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