The body of an elk found earlier this week along the Pasco side of the Columbia River across from Goat Island, has some residents concerned about a possible health problem.
The Pasco resident who discovered the remains told the Herald he called the Fish & Wildlife department, Corps of Engineers and Tri-Cities Animal Control to ask if someone would remove the animal.
None of the agencies said they could help.
The Herald learned from the Benton-Franklin Health Dep-artment that any dead animal must be removed within 24 hours of discovery.
Rick Dawson, the department's environmental health supervisor, made a trip to the shoreline to investigate.
The elk apparently was in the water a long time and floated down river before it washed ashore, Dawson said.
"The river is usually elevated about four feet for the boat races," Dawson said. "So when (the water level) was brought back down, that's probably what brought the animal ashore."
Herald calls to the Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife were not returned.
Animal Control director Angela Zilar said several residents have complained, but the shelter doesn't have the means to dispose of wild animals.
"If a large wild animal is found dead in the middle of the road causing a traffic hazard, then we will pull it to the side of the road, but we just don't have the resources to dispose of it," Zilar said.
Dawson said anyone who finds a dead animal can call the Benton-Franklin Health Dep-artment at 509-460-4200 for help.
"We don't provide a removal service for dead animals," he said.
"But people can call us if they run across one, and we will find someone who can remove it," he said.
If a dead animal is found on private property, then it is the responsibility of the owner to remove it, he added.
Dawson contacted the Corps of Engineers to remove the remains of the elk because it is on Corps property.
"The Corps of Engineers usually does a great job of dealing with this kind of thing when we make a request," Dawson said.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal