An affectionate elk paid a visit to some Washington state firefighters over the Fourth of July weekend as they worked to tame a wildfire near the town of Cle Elum (pronounced klee-EL-um).
The orphaned elk, nicknamed Buttons by the locals, is a fixture in Kittitas County, where she took up residence with some cows and goats on a hillside. She sometimes visits a nearby chimpanzee sanctuary, according to the local Daily Record newspaper.
Kittitas County Fire District spokeswoman Richelle Risdon says she arrived at the scene Saturday to see the friendly animal nuzzling everyone in the command post area and resting her head on people’s shoulders.
Risdon snapped photos of the elk’s encounter with the crew and posted them on the fire district’s Facebook page.
She says she hopes that with all the attention the photos are getting online, hunters will steer clear of Buttons.