Be on the lookout for wildlife on Highway 82 |

Be on the lookout for wildlife on Highway 82

ASPEN – Three or four vehicles collided with a large female elk on Highway 82 during Monday morning’s commute, prompting authorities to warn motorists to use caution while on the road.

“It was a big cow elk, 800 or 900 pounds,” said Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Dustin Gray. “It took three of us to slide it off the roadway.”

Authorities initially believed more than one elk had been struck, but it turned out that multiple motorists had reported the same incident.

The collisions happened sometime between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. in the left lane of the upvalley lanes of Highway 82.

Some of the vehicles were damaged, and the elk died upon impact, Gray said.

Gray said elk and other wildlife are particularly vulnerable during sunrise and sunset this time of year. Elk currently are migrating toward their winter grazing areas, he said. One of the most dangerous areas on Highway 82 is between Aspen Village, just outside Snowmass Canyon, and the Aspen Business Center, he said.

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