Captive elk’s fate uncertain after attack |

Captive elk’s fate uncertain after attack

The snowmobile show and chili cook-off scheduled for today at the Wyman Living History Ranch and Museum is still on, despite a fatal elk attack at the ranch Thursday.

Rena Olsen, one of the organizers of the 15th annual antique and vintage snowmobile show, sell and swap, said she talked to Lou Wyman, the owner of the ranch about canceling the event, but they decided the show would go on.

One of Wyman's employees, John Wayman Renner, 56, was killed Thursday morning by a captive bull elk at the ranch.

Authorities think the elk attacked Renner when he entered the elk's pen to feed it. Renner had been told to feed the elk from outside the pen and to never enter the pen.

Wyman's ranch is about one mile east of Craig on U.S. Highway 40.

Registration for the snowmobile show runs until 10:30 a.m. Judging is from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The chill cook-off starts at 11 a.m.

There also will be broom ball, radar runs and barrel races.

The fate of a captive elk named Clyde remained unclear Friday, a day after the elk killed a worker at a ranch east of Craig.

Lou Wyman, the owner of the elk and the Wyman Living History Ranch and Museum, where the elk attack occurred, said he doesn’t know what will happen to the 9-year-old bull elk.

Authorities think the elk killed John Wayman Renner, 56, on Thursday morning when Renner entered the elk’s pen to feed it hay.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do,” Wyman said Friday.

Wyman has had Clyde since the elk was a calf.

Several people have called asking Wyman not to kill the elk since news of Thursday’s incident broke, Wyman said.

One person told Wyman she planned to start a letter campaign to save Clyde, he said.

The owner of an elk ranch in southwest Colorado called and offered to take care of Clyde, Wyman said.

The response from people who want Clyde to live has been a surprise, Wyman said.

Emergency crews found Renner face down in a feeding trough inside the elk’s pen at about 10:30 a.m. Thur-s–day.

Moffat County Coroner Owen Grant said there was no obvious cause of death. Renner had abrasions on his body, Grant said.

A pathologist will conduct an autopsy on Renner today in Denver, Grant said.

Moffat County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Holford said no charges will be filed in the case.

Renner had been told by Wyman and other employees at the ranch not to go inside the elk’s pen to feed the animal, Holford said.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Brand Ins-pection Division licenses elk ranches, such as Wyman’s.

Rick Wahlert, deputy brand commissioner, said the division doesn’t have a policy regarding captive elk that are dangerous.

“It’s not our decision,” Wahlert said.

The Sheriff’s Office also won’t require Wyman to kill the elk after Thursday’s incident.

“I guess it’s my decision,” Wyman said.

If wild elk attack people, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has the discretion to kill the animal, Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said.

Like the Brand Inspection Division, the Division of Wildlife doesn’t have a set policy for elk that attack people, Hampton said.

Every situation is different, Hampton said, but if division officials think an animal is a threat to people, they will put it down.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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