Back in 2016, an affectionate elk paid some Washington state firefighters a visit over the Fourth of July holiday weekend as they worked to tame a wildfire.
The orphaned elk, dubbed Buttons by the crew of Station 7, is now a fixture in Kittitas County, where she has taken up residence with some cows and goats on a hillside.
Kittitas County Fire District spokeswoman Richelle Risdon says she arrived at the scene that Saturday afternoon to see the elk nuzzling up to everyone in the command post area.
“She was actually resting her head on people’s shoulders,” said Risdon. “I’m a country girl and I grew up around animals. But I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Ridson said the elk was not initially coaxed over by firefighters, but instead walked into the command post area and began nudging everyone.
“She would come right up to you and give you a kiss on the mouth,” added Risdon.
Risdon snapped photos of the animal getting up close and personal with the crew and posted them on the fire district’s Facebook page. She says she hopes with all the attention the photos are getting online, hunters will know to steer clear of Buttons.
Check out Buttons, her firefighting friends, and the blaze that almost took their lives…