All animals need a community—a group of fellow creatures to hunt with, travel with, and make life a little less lonely. For some wild animals, though, losing their birth family means they need to find that community elsewhere.
In Kittitas County, Washington, locals spoke often about an elk who would wander onto nearby farms after being abandoned by her family. The elk was known to approach cows and goats.
But her search for companionship eventually took her to a surprising place…
It’s important for most wild animals to feel as if they’re a part of a community. That’s why so many of them tend to stick to their respective groups. Unfortunately, for many lost and orphaned animals, there’s no group to be found.
This was the case in Kittitas County, Washington, where a wild elk was reportedly wandering around many of the nearby farms in search of some companions. According to locals, she’d been abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself in the wild.
Though her story was heartbreaking, it was about to take a surprising turn. On a recent day, she found herself in the area as firefighters responded to a blaze in the Kittitas County woods. What no one could have expected was what the lonely elk would do next…
Noticing the firefighters were on a break at one of their command posts, the elk decided it was time to make some friends. So she walked up to say “hello!” Just look at the way she comfortably waltzed right up to them without any worries.
The elk, who the firefighters learned was named Buttons, was a fixture of the community. Over the past few months, many locals had claimed to have seen her hanging around their ranches and farms. They didn’t seem to mind, since she appeared rather friendly.
Soon, the firefighters were told the story of how Buttons had been abandoned by her family at a young age. Evidently, locals have witnessed her hanging around with herds of cows and goats on a nearby hillside, likely to make up for her lack of an immediate community.
Buttons had been a part of the Kittitas County community ever since, and she’d even become something of a local celebrity. Obviously, given how these firefighters reacted to her, it looked like found her new family!
While most elk keep a safe distance from humans, Buttons had no hesitations about saying “hi” up close. She even showed her affection in the form of a nuzzle and a sloppy kiss! Clearly, she was a lover—not a fighter!
Though several elk herds came through the area, Buttons seemed to prefer hanging out with her new friends—both animals and humans. Perhaps it was because she learned how to talk people into giving her a chin scratch?
The firefighters reported that, during her visit to their post, this sweet elk made sure to join them on their rounds and give kisses to every officer there. What a sweet little animal! Hopefully she felt as much at home with the folks of Kittitas County as they did with her.
With so much love to go around, it’s safe to say that Buttons the elk will never be lonely again!
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