Watch massive group of elk sprint along Utah freeway before returning to mountains

A massive group of elk made its way from snowy mountains to a city and dashed alongside drivers on a Utah freeway for a second time in a week.

A herd of about 40 elk was spotted Wednesday, Feb. 1, near the Interstate 215 and Interstate 80 interchange in Salt Lake City, the Utah Department of Transportation said on Twitter.

The elk slowed drivers and caused delays as wildlife officials tried to herd them back to the mountains.

“The herd has split and there is a chance people will encounter elk in areas where there isn’t traffic control currently,” transportation officials said. “Please slow down and consider staying out of the area until the situation is under control.”

The animals had to cross multiple roadways before reaching Foothill Drive, which would lead them back to the mountains.

On Jan. 26, about 60 elk sprinted along the same area in Salt Lake City. Wildlife officials had to herd them back to the mountains, too.

Elk and other larger animals typically migrate toward cities when it snows because they are looking for food, Faith Heaton Jolley, a spokesperson for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said in a Jan. 26 tweet.

“If you see elk, moose or deer lingering in a neighborhood or trapped on or near a freeway, please call the nearest (wildlife) office so we can relocate them,” Jolley wrote. “Stay safe out there kids, and help us keep wildlife wild.”

These large herds of elk should begin to naturally return to the foothills to find food when the weather warms next week, Jolley wrote Feb. 1 on Twitter.

“We ask for tolerance and patience from local residents and drivers in the area while the elk are here,” she said.

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