Great Smoky officials criticized for killing elk

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Officials at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park say they got around 100 letters about their decision to euthanize an elk that was seen harassing a photographer on a YouTube video.

The Citizen-Times of Asheville reports that most of the letters and the 200 comments on the park's Facebook page criticized the decision to kill the elk Nov. 15.

The video of the elk head-butting James York was put online Oct. 20 and has been viewed more than 2 million times. York was sitting along a trail taking photographs and was not hurt.

Park officials say the elk was too accustomed to humans. They say they shot the elk with paint balls and pepper spray to scare the animal away from humans but it didn't work.

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