CDOT Warns Against Wildlife On Roadways

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

The Colorado Department of Transportation is warning drivers to be extra cautious and alert when on area roadways, because wildlife have been surprising many drivers in areas where they have not been seen in the past.

It's a scene you may expect to find near the mountains: a herd of more than one hundred elk grazing in a field. But it's not something you would expect to see out east near busy Highway 24.

"I didn't even know we had an elk herd out here," said Ben Deis who lives nearby.

He was so shocked by the sight, he had to pull over just to get a better look. And he wasn't alone.

"I've never seen them this close or this far out east, I thought the only herd of elk was near Divide," Deis said.

And it’s because of the current location of herds like this one that the CDOT is sending out a warning to drivers.

"They're coming to the roads, to railroad tracks any place that they can find some open spaces to find grass," said CDOT maintenance worker Ben Bauer.

And in doing so they are being hit by cars and trains. CDOT is asking drivers to slow down and give them a break, because they may be around for awhile.

"Until we get a melt these animals are going to be looking anywhere they can for food," said Bauer.

In the southeast part of the state, CDOT has reported problems with cattle on the roadways. In many places the snow is so deep the cows have gotten out of their pastures and wandered onto the highway.

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