Sevierville, CO, October 18, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- On October 7, 2014, the popular Smoky Mountain vacation website VisitMySmokies.com released an official warning for visitors headed to the area to see the Smoky Mountains fall foliage to be cautious of the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although elk viewing is one of the most popular activities for visitors this time of year, according to the travel resource these large animals are known to be quite territorial during this season.
“Along with the scenic fall colors, autumn in the Smoky Mountains is also known as the elk’s mating season,” said a spokesperson for Visit My Smokies. “Like all times of year, we want to encourage families and guests to exercise caution when they encounter Smoky Mountain wildlife, however, being respectful of the elk’s space this time of year is particularly important.”
Now, because park officials are requesting that vacationers exercise caution, it does not mean visitors wanting to see the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this season have to avoid them altogether. According to Visit My Smokies, guests can still enjoy observing the elk in their natural habitat by following four easy steps:
Do not approach the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. To get a closer view of the animals, consider using a camera lens or binoculars from the roadside or a hiking trail.
Do not block traffic if you encounter an elk crossing the road, stay in your vehicle. Also, do not flash your headlights at them because this may anger them.
Avoid feeding any wildlife. This takes the animals out of their natural habitat and is very dangerous for the animal.
Stay at least 150 feet away from the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at all times. Coming any closer to the animals could result in a $5,000 fine and/or arrest for the visitor.
What makes visitors’ caution even more important this year is that both 2013 and soon-to-be 2014 marked record-breaking years in terms of the number of elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A number that was zero less than a decade ago has now risen to over 120 total adult elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to Visit My Smokies.
In the early 19th century, the entire population of the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was destroyed. According to the National Park Service, this was a result of over-hunting and a loss of natural habitat as more and more families moved into the area.
However, in 2001, the National Park Service spearheaded a reintroduction campaign that released a total of 25 elk back into the park. The following year an additional 27 adult elk were added, and from there the numbers have grown exponentially.
For more information, visit http://www.visitmysmokies.com/?utm_source=submitedgeseo&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_term=elkinthegreatsmokymountainsnaitonalpark&utm_content=elk&utm_campaign=octpr.
Established in 2009, Visit My Smokies is the premier Great Smoky Mountain destination lodging website. The program is owned by Sevier County, Tenn., and developed to build revenue, through the promotion of travel and tourism, in relation to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville area lodging, attractions, dining and shopping. All offices are located at: 125 Court Ave., Suite 102 E, Sevierville, TN 37862.
Full Contact Details
Visit My Smokies
125 Court Ave., Suite 102 E, Sevierville, TN 37862, United States, 37862
Phone No.: 8653231738