Yes that is a bull elk that overlooks a busy street below in Austin, Texas. But how did it get there?
Turns out the actual elk lives nearly 1,000 miles north and west of Austin in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Richie Hayward, a photographer from Tennessee, traveled to Colorado in 2018 specifically to take wildlife photos during the elk rut that fall.
He posted the photo on the website of Outdoor Photographer Magazine. From there, someone from the marketing side of Yeti Coolers saw the image, reached out to Hayward and asked if they could use it. It now sits atop Yeti’s storefront in Austin.
“Not in a million years would I have thought this,” Hayward told the Estes Park Trail-Gazette. “It was cloudy that morning. We were about ten feet away from this animal and we had to get out of his way as he went up the hill. He chased some of his harem and turned and bugled. The sun came out for about 30 seconds, right when I took the photograph. It was like a God moment that you couldn’t replicate.”
(Photo credit: Yeti)