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Lucky the elk...not so lucky?

by Joe Michaels

Posted on July 25, 2007 at 7:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

Tonight we aired a story about an elk named Lucky. He was raised by a family...and their dogs...after he was abandoned. Even though that family had good intentions, the result has been a bit disheartening. You can see a picture of this beautiful animal below.

I went out to Bev Johnson's ranch in Tillamook County today to get her view on what has happened. Who is Bev Johnson? She is the dedicated, genuine woman who helps rehabilitate animals like Lucky...animals that need some help. The state actually took lucky from that first family that raised him...and gave him to Bev. The hope was that she could work her magic with him, and get him to discover his natural instincts as an elk. It didn't work out, though. And now lucky has been transferred...again...but this time to the Cascades. Since he doesn't have those basic survival skills, whether or not he will make it up there is anyone's guess.

One thing I really noticed today...Bev...the woman who wanted to help Lucky recover from his non-traditional upbringing...really cared about him. You could hear it in her voice...and see it in her eyes. She was sad that Lucky was gone...and even more upset that he may die in the Oregon mountains.

And all this could have been avoided if that first family...the family that raised him with their dogs...had gone one step farther. If they had called the state, and the state had taken him when he was first abandoned...he may have grown up in a more natural setting. He may have those natural instincts so critical to a wild animal. But now he doesn't.

I'm not beating up on that family...I'm sure they had only the best intentions. But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation...the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says to call them. They can take care of abandoned animals...and be sure they are raised the 'right' way.

For more information check out this website hosted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife .