Grand Canyon Elk Enjoy Water Bonanza

At the Grand Canyon, thirsty hikers are learning to wait. The elk are first in line.  The animals are helping themselves to water from bottle-filling stations set up around Grand Canyon National Park by lifting the spring-loaded levers with their noses to get the water flowing.

It's not what officials had in mind when they installed the stations and dropped the sale of water in disposable bottles. So, they are elk-proofing the stations hoping to outsmart the animals, conserve water and protect visitors from aggressive behavior. About a dozen filling stations are set up in the park. The elk favor the one at the head of the popular South Kaibab Trail.

Chief resource manager Martha Hahn says caging in the water spouts and replacing the elk-friendly levers  should keep the animals away.

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