Just a couple of weeks ago we got the sad news from park rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park about the passing of a well-known Colorado Elk named 'Kahuna'. This elk was also known as Bruno or Big Thirds.

Kahuna was photographed many times during its years in the park as one of the most impressive elk found anywhere. Kahuna passed away back in March, and his remains were intended to return to the earth. Sadly, poachers had other ideas. Click here to see a video of this amazing animal.

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Body of Kahuna Found Disturbed in Rocky Mountain National Park

According to Rocky Mountain National Park officials, someone came into the park, located the body of Kahuna, and removed its head and antlers from the remains. The discovery was reported to the public on April 8th. See additional footage of Kahuna here. 

Park Officials Think The Remains Were Disturned in March

According to the National Parks Service, an investigation into the illegal removal of the animal's skull and antler from his carcass probably happened between March 20th and March 22nd. The remains were left alone in the park to return to the earth but someone must have located the Elk's remains not long after it passed away.

Help Park Rangers Catch the Poachers Who Disturbed Kahuna's Remains

Anyone with information that can help bring those responsible for this illegal incident in for questioning is asked to call the Rock Mountain National Park Tip Line at 970-586-1393. You can also visit the NPS Anonymous Tip Line here. If you have any information that can help investigators please contact them using either method below:

CALL or TEXT our Tip Line: (888)-361-3332 or (202)-379-4877
EMAIL USPP: Tipline@nps.gov

RANKED: America's Most Popular National Parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

LOOK: Stunning Vintage Photos Capture the Beauty of America's National Parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

STUNNING: Nighttime Photos Show the Milky Way over 9 National Parks & Monuments

Colorado is home to four national parks and eight national monuments. Our neighbors to the west, Utah, boasts five national parks and seven national monuments. Also within reach are the parks and monuments of New Mexico and Arizona.

If you're the road-trip type, they're all reachable in a day's drive from Colorado.

While the majority of tourists visiting these parks only witness the phenomenal views during the day, there's a sight to be seen under the stars.

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