It isn’t the wildlife spotting one expects at the beach.
Locals were shocked to stumble upon a dead elk on the shores of Newport Beach late last week.
The 1,000-pound, decade-old animal seems to have drowned, according to Sgt. Simon Gravel, with the Conservation Officer Service.
"We always inspect the elk to make sure there was no poaching-related evidence that we could find," Gravel said, adding the animal will also be tested to see if it died of disease. "We looked for bullet holes or any other trauma that could explain the cause of death, but we didn't find anything."
Because other elk have washed up in the Squamish area over the past few years, the conservation service biologist is looking into a possible cause, Gravel said.
Though not determined in this case, off-leash dogs chasing wildlife is a point of concern for the service.
"It is is a wildlife management area there, so it is very important for people to keep their dog on a leash and to not chase wildlife," he said, adding there have been cases of deer drowning after being chased by dogs.
"It is a good reminder that these animals are susceptible."
Gravel said the conservation service and District of Squamish worked to remove the elk from the beach.
It would not be appropriate to leave the elk on the beach to rot naturally, he said.
"in a location like this, it is too busy. A rotting elk would only attract other wildlife and cause other issues," Gravel said.
Last month, a drowned bear washed up on the beach as well.
If anyone comes across dead wildlife, call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.