A yearling elk has been killed on one of the main roads cutting through Warrenton, Ore. Vehicle collisions are unfortunately common around the North Coast as many drivers, and large logging trucks drive too fast while going through town. Once a logging truck took out a small herd of elk in a single incident. It leads to trauma for humans and wildlife. I spoke with one resident who saw an elk struck in front of his house. The collision did not immediately kill the animal, and it became his job to call it in to the state patrol. The injured animal lay for hours in the man’s front yard crying. An officer then showed up on the scene and proceeded to unsuccessfully shoot the elk, only injuring it further before putting it out of its pain.
I made this portrait as part of a series about roadkill. It is not of the elk the man spoke of. I found this one on my own. My goal was to encourage people to stop and look at the wildlife killed on our roads, inspired by paintings of medieval maidens and roadside memorials. I would visit the animal then go to the store to purchase flowers and return at sunset to create its wreathe.