Special bond between man and elk he’s raised for nearly 30 years


ESTES PARK — An Estes Park man has shared a special bond with an elk he rescued and rehabilitated for nearly 30 years.

The man’s name is Lee Kemper and the elk’s name is ‘Annie’. They’re best friends.

“She’s a sweetheart. She’s a loving animal,” Kemper explained.

Kemper met Annie when she was five days old. Since then he’s taken care of her on his farm in Estes Park.

Usually elk only live to be 12. This May, Annie will be 29.

"I think she has a will to live and she likes being with me and she was happy here,” Kemper said.

Unfortunately Annie’s age is creeping up on her. She’s not as strong as she once was and Kemper fears her end is near.

"I love her to death. I don’t know what’s going to happen when she passes away, but I’m going to miss her,” he explained.

To honor her memory, Kemper went to the town of Estes Park and discussed creating a statue in her honor. The community supports the effort 100% and is currently raising money for a statue. You can learn more about their GoFundMe effort by clicking here.

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