Animal lovers expressed grief and outrage this weekend after a beloved elk named Hollywood was found illegally shot and killed on an Oklahoma nature preserve.
On Saturday, Hollywood's headless body was discovered on Nickel Wildlife Preserve, where the elk had earned a reputation for his cheerful attitude and calmness around cameras and children.
As protected animals on private land, the preserve's elks should have little reason to fear people, but the scruffy, undersized bull had become particularly famous for his apparent love of the spotlight.
"People with kids could drive through, and it was almost guaranteed they would see him," Preserve Director Jeremy Tubbs told the Tulsa World. "There are no other elk like that on the preserve; they are typically pretty secretive animals."
But while Hollywood's trusting nature explains how poachers were able to kill him, preserve officials are still unable to explain why: According to Tubbs, the elk's killers left almost his entire body, taking only a small amount of meat and his head, which would be of little trophy value.