Boulder’s Mapleton Hill is home to visiting bull elk five years after demise of “Big Boy”

A large, solitary bull elk has settled into Boulder’s Mapleton Hill neighborhood, browsing through backyard gardens and providing an ample harvest of photo opportunities for area residents.

That didn’t work out well for another elk nearly five years ago.

“I was on a heated business call in my office 20 minutes ago, and looking out my window, and saw it munching away,” said Heath Thomson, who lives near Spruce and Sixth streets. He came outside to finish his call, as he watched the elk foraging for its lunch.

The history of exotic wildlife in Boulder city limits has no darker chapter than that of “Big Boy,” the trophy bull elk that was frequenting Mapleton Hill at the end of 2012 — delighting many who live there — until it was shot and killed by then-Boulder police officer Sam Carter in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2013.

Carter claimed after the fact that the animal had been injured and needed to be put down.



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