Blue Ridge Parkway warns drivers of 700-pound elk known to charge at drivers

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Photo of bull elk crossing the road on Heintooga Spur Road, just off the Parkway near milepost 458.2 (credit: Harold Blackwood/Blue Ridge Parkway)

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October is a scenic time to admire the fall views while driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, but parkway officials are asking drivers to keep their eyes on more than the beauty of nature.

They say 500-700 pound elk that “…have been known to charge in order to defend themselves” can be seen along the parkway and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Elk have made a comeback in the western NC mountains after they were reintroduced into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001 and 2002.

Officials say you can spot them in the southernmost areas of the parkway and in some neighboring communities.

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