UPDATED — Roaming Sequim elk herd prompts advisory to be 'extra cautious' on Highway 101
Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
The Dungeness herd of Roosevelt elk relax in Fred and Loretta Grant’s field off Sequim Bay Road just east of Sequim. Drivers are being advised to keep a lookout for the elk trying to cross U.S. Highway 101, which is behind the Holiday Inn Express, shown in the background.
Peninsula Daily News
The Dungeness herd of Roosevelt elk cross U.S. Highway 101 in Sequim in 2000.
By Peninsula Daily News staff
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Motorists in east Sequim near the highway should be cautious and alert for elk crossing the road, the Sheriff's Office said through the Nixle text and email alert system.
The elk seem ready to make yet another crossing of Highway 101, the third such crossing in recent months, according to Tim Cullinan, wildlife program coordinator for the Point No Point Treaty Council.
The elk herd — currently numbering 38 cows and calves — has been massed near the highway for the 24 hours before Tuesday morning, behavior that indicates they may be preparing for a crossing, Cullinan said.
The elk, some of which weigh as much as 800 pounds, often cross the road singly, in small groups, then the bulk of the herd crosses together, which often blocks traffic and sometimes causes wrecks on the 55-mph section of highway in east Sequim.
"This morning the Sequim elk are in the field across Washington Street from the Holiday Inn [Express] and Black Bear Diner," Cullinan said Tuesday.
"Yesterday they spent most of the day in the woods just north of the Johnson Creek bridge on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
“Motorists should be extra cautious in the stretch of highway between Sequim Avenue and the Sequim Bay Lodge motel (intersection of West Sequim Bay Road)."
Later Tuesday, the elk herd moved into a field to the west of the Purple Haze lavender farm off West Sequim Bay Road.
Last modified: January 22. 2013 6:35PM