Otero County resident fights to reduce elk-vehicle collisions | KOB 4

Otero County resident fights to reduce elk-vehicle collisions

Casey Torres
February 20, 2018 08:17 PM

BENT, N.M. -- After years of elk being killed on a highway near Tularosa and Bent, Keena Salazar is seeking improvements for elk crossing signs. Salazar runs an animal rescue shelter in Otero County, and she wants to help every animal she can.


"We've just seen numerous elk massacred, basically on the highway between a couple of mile markers 238 and 239," she said.

Salazar doesn't believe the elk are the only ones in danger.

"A lot of cars have been destroyed and a lot of people have been hurt," Salazar said.

Salazar said preventive measures were taken to avoid the issue. For three years, the light on a road sign warning of crossing elk hasn’t been working, she said.

"They put a diamond-shaped yellow sign with an elk picture on it, and they clipped a barrel light on it so it barely flashed," she said. "You could barely see it. It wasn’t any kind of a warning or anything."

On Monday, her husband took a picture of an elk carcass on the side of the road. Salazar said flashing signs and radar speed signs could help with the accidents.

A spokesperson for the state provided this statement: "In some instances, we can work with the community and landowners to install game fences."


Casey Torres

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