First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Elk-Chasing Air Ambulance Pilot Fined

What Do You Do On Your Way Back to the Station?

A PILOT FOR CLASSIC LIFEGUARD AIR MEDICAL of Page, Arizona, was fined $200 this week for buzzing an elk herd in a Colorado canyon after he had left off a patient.

Owen Park, 35, was flying near Granite Creek, Colorado, when he spotted a herd of elk grazing in the canyon and decided to drop down for a better look at the animals.

One of Classic Lifeguard's helicopters

Denver Channel 7 reports:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it cited Owen Park, of Page, Ariz., , for harassing wildlife after a group of hunters observed him flying his helicopter very low over an elk herd in a canyon near the headwaters of Granite Creek, southwest of Grand Junction.

According to the witnesses, Park flew erratically, making several passes below the rim of the canyon and at treetop level, causing several groups of elk to scatter in multiple directions. At times, it appeared Park was herding the elk, the witnesses said.

"The people that saw this told me that the pilot ruined their hunt," said Ty Smith, District Wildlife Officer in Grand Junction.

Park said he did not feel his actions harassed the elk, but did admit that he was trying to get a better look at the herds, according to CPW.

Firegeezer hopes that he doesn't decide to go whale-spotting.

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