An elk was shot and killed inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on November 13. The poacher shot the elk at close range inside the Cataloochee Valley, where the protected animals can be found grazing, then left the carcass in the field and drove back to his home in Granville County. The elk killed was a dominate bull, and one of the first to be released inside the GSMNP. Hunting in the park is illegal, as is carrying a firearm (until the law changes in February 2010). The poacher, who has already been identified by park rangers, will face a fine of up to $5,000 and 6 months in jail for the actual poaching and will face losing his truck as well as the weapon he used to commit this crime. It is possible he may face other charges as well.

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