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Skull, antler of popular elk in Rocky Mountain National Park illegally removed

Kahuna elk
Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 09, 2022

The skull and antler of Kahuna, a popular large bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, were illegally removed, according to the National Park Service.

Kahuna, also known as Bruno or Big Thirds, had distinct large antlers and was a popular photography subject, according to the service. Numerous photos of his carcass were also shared.

Kahuna elk

Officials believe Kahuna died of natural causes. There were reports that he was injured during last year's mating season and was very underweight in February, according to the National Park Service.

Park rangers believe Kahuna's skull and antler were removed sometime between March 20 and March 22. One antler was still on the skull. Park rangers believe the other was shed before his death.

The National Park Service is asking anyone with information to call the Rocky Mountain National Park's tip line at 970-586-1393 or email ROMO_Tipline@nps.gov. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by submitting information online.

"The skull and antlers of this popular elk were cut and illegally removed from Rocky Mountain National Park. This elk’s remains should be allowed to return to the earth in Rocky Mountain National Park, where he brought much joy to thousands of park visitors over many years," the National Park Service said in a press release.