Officials: See elk in GSMNP? Keep your distance

(WVLT) -- After being reintroduced to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001 and 2002, elk are making a come back near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Photo of bull elk crossing the road on Heintooga Spur Road, just off the Parkway near milepost 458.2 / Source: Harold Blackwood.

Park officials said on Oct. 4 that the animals can now be seen near the parkway and its neighboring communities.

Adult elk in the park can weigh between 500 and 700 pounds and have been known to charge in order to defend themselves.

"If you see an elk on the Parkway please keep your distance in order to maintain their safety and your own," the Blue Ridge Parkway said on Facebook.

You can learn more about elk in the parks here.

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