For more than a decade, thousands have marveled at the magnificence of a bull elk known as Kahuna, aka Bruno or Big Thirds. Whether it was his unique antlers, bellowing bugle or regal manner when protecting his harem, he captured the hearts of many around the world. It is believed Kahuna was one of the largest and the most photographed elk in North America.
These are only a few reasons why Kahuna followers, like you, are coming together to raise funds to establish a memorial to commemorate and preserve the legacy he left behind in the Rocky Mountains.
A diverse group of volunteers with connections to Estes Park, Colorado, USA and Rocky Mountain National Park have come together to establish a memorial for the well-known elk known as Kahuna.
Tell Kahuna's story and share his legacy with future generations who will come to visit the Rocky Mountains and admire his many descendants.
To establish a significant memorial that intrigues, informs and instills memorable moments of the legendary Kahuna.
To raise funds, commission a sculptured statue of Kahuna, and oversee the installation of a memorial on a public site for all to enjoy in Estes Park.
To further commemorate Kahuna, this project hopes to expand the public's understanding of wildlife safety and care.
Partnering with the Art Center of Estes Park, the grassroots, all-volunteer-based committee will leverage the GoFundMe platform to raise funds from donors familiar with Kahuna and share the enthusiasm for Rocky Mountain wildlife conservation. In addition, the committee will ensure the memorial design, build and installation complies with the Town of Estes Park requirements.
The Kahuna Story
Over the years, thousands came to photograph and watch Kahuna during the autumn rut. His bugle was something that sent chills through your soul. In the cool, crisp, predawn air of Moraine Park, it emerged on his breath as frosty white clouds. A majestic sound told other bulls to keep their distance and called cows to join his harem, usually numbered 30 to 60 or more. From commanding respect during sparring to guiding younger bulls on the ways of elk life, Kahuna was indeed the King of Moraine Park.
In September 2021, Kahuna was injured in a sparring match with another bull during the rut. Many days later, he was found resting in a bed of soft lacey green ferns and new aspen shoots along the Fern Lake Trail. His head was laid on Mother Earth, and one of his massive 7x7 antlers was resting on his back. Weak and thin, it wasn't very certain he would live much longer. Being the tough old guy he was, after not being seen for several weeks, he reappeared in late October in the meadows of Moraine Park - still thin and moving slowly. Kahuna lived until March 2022, when he was found dead in his familiar surroundings of Moraine Park. Mother Earth wrapped her arms around him and took him home. He will be missed, but he left us with many memories and future descendants to carry on his magical ways.
Even though Kahuna has been a popular elk in media and advertising over the years, the news of his death was overwhelmingly captured in the headlines, radio waves and television news across the nation. Social media response continues to remember and mourn the famous elk.
Please, consider making your tax-deductible donation today to help tell Kahuna’s story and preserve his legacy for future generations to know as they admire his offspring.