Poacher kills pregnant elk in Zion during government closure

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area in Blacksmith Fork Canyon gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience wild Elk up close. The working ranch maintains healthy rangelands for wildlife as well as increasing public awareness through community outreach and education programs. The ranch opens Dec. 12 with the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Festival being held Dec. 13. The ranch will offer sleigh rides through mid-March.

St. George • Authorities say a poacher killed a pregnant elk inside Zion National Park during the government shutdown.

The Spectrum reports that the National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are investigating the incident, which is estimated to have happened on or about Saturday.

An elk gut pile and partial hide were found in Lee Valley.

Authorities say they believe the poacher was taking advantage of park security being limited due to the shutdown.

National parks like Zion had been kept open despite park service staff being on furlough. The shutdown lasted three days before Congress passed a temporary stopgap measure on Monday.

Up to a $1,500 reward is being offered for information on the kill.