Odd News

Grand Canyon officials try to outsmart elk nosing into water-refilling stations for a drink

In this Nov. 10, 2013 photo provided by Brandon Holton, a Wildlife Biologist with the Science and Resource Management at the at the Grand Canyon National Park, elks interact with visitors at the south kaibab water station at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.  The animals are helping themselves by lifting the spring-loaded levers at the stations with their noses and letting the water flow. Officials at the Grand Canyon plan to elk-proof the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior.  (AP Photo/U.S. National Park Service)

In this Nov. 10, 2013 photo provided by Brandon Holton, a Wildlife Biologist with the Science and Resource Management at the at the Grand Canyon National Park, elks interact with visitors at the south kaibab water station at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The animals are helping themselves by lifting the spring-loaded levers at the stations with their noses and letting the water flow. Officials at the Grand Canyon plan to elk-proof the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior. (AP Photo/U.S. National Park Service)  (The Associated Press)

Thirsty hikers have to wait. The elk are first in line.

The animals are helping themselves to water from bottle-filling stations set up around Grand Canyon National Park by lifting the spring-loaded levers with their noses and letting the water flow. It's not exactly the kind of use officials had in mind when they installed the stations and dropped the sale of disposable water bottles.

Now, they are elk-proofing the stations to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior.

About a dozen filling stations are set up throughout the park. The elk favor the one at popular South Kaibab Trail.

Chief resource manager Martha Hahn says caging in the water spout and changing up the way of turning on the water should keep the animals away.