Researchers in a low-flying helicopter were attempting to catch an elk in a net to fit it with a tracking collar when the animal leaped at the helicopter’s tail rotor, bringing the aircraft crashing to the ground.
The incident occurred Monday in Wasatch County, Utah, about 90 miles east of Salt Lake City. The two people in the helicopter were not seriously injured. The elk was killed in the incident.
The aircraft was flying about 10 feet above the ground in a mountainous region of eastern Utah when the elk jumped at it. Researchers use the tracking collars to study elk migration paths and mortality rates.