Authorities now know what killed six elk that were found dead with no obvious wounds Dec. 13 in the Ocean View Cemetery at Warrenton.
They were poisoned.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife took the elk to the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. A botany professor determined the animals were poisoned by eating English yew — a shrub used in the cemetery landscaping.
A herd of about four-dozen elk had passed through the cemetery. OSU botany instructor Rich Halse says English yew is a non-native plant and not something elk would normally encounter or recognize as poisonous. The cemetery is located in Warrenton but owned by the City of Astoria and managed by the city parks department.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.