Craig has lost a unique member of its community.
Wyman Living History Museum’s Clyde the elk died Saturday afternoon, leaving behind a legacy of friendliness to employees and visitors that lasted throughout his eight years there.
The elk, born on the Wyman Elk ranch in 1994, came to the museum when it opened in 2004 and had been there to entertain visitors every day since.
His draw was strong for anyone visiting the museum for the first time, but he was a favorite of children coming on field trips from the local schools.
“The kiddos, especially the younger kids, loved him,” Wyman curator Nicky Boulger said. “The museum was great, but Clyde was wonderful. He brought a lot of joy to a lot of kids. Even disabled people would come and I’ve got pictures of Clyde licking them. He would get Christmas presents from people.”
On the day he passed, at about 4:30, he was still putting on a show. Boulger said visitors were at the museum around 3 p.m. and Clyde was bugling for them the entire time.
While Clyde was a staple at the museum, Boulger thinks his impact went far beyond its grounds.
“The whole community, I think,” she said. “It wasn’t just us who loved him. People would travel to see him every fall. On our Facebook page a lady said her mom came from Brazil and met her first elk.”
Boulger said Wyman Museum is planning on holding a memorial service of sorts for Clyde, but the details have yet to be determined.
The museum is also considering bringing another elk in as a replacement, but Wyman employees think Clyde’s hooves will be tough to fill.
“He had so much personality,” curator Annie Nelson said. “He’s like a pet that you love. He was just a huge part of the family. The town of Craig will be sad he’s gone I think.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org