Take a look at where we are today!
In September 2023, we unveiled a unique Moraine Park exhibit - a bronze bas relief of Kahuna and Moraine Park landscape with Near Field Communication to take visitors to the RMNP website to hear Kahuna and other elk bugle, as well as learn more about elk.
The Town of Estes Park Board of Trustees unanimously voted to reserve a high-traffic parcel of land in downtown for the Kahuna Memorial Wildlife Safety Park. We have one year to raise the funds to begin build out of the concept and monument foundry work.
We have partnered with the bright minds of Colorado State University to help bring the Kahuna Memorial Wildlife Safety Park to life. From computerized modeling to architectural and landscaping guidance, we are in good hands with CSU.
Jocelyn Russell has been selected as the Kahuna monument sculptor and she is busy creating a "sketch" to determine Kahuna's stance and pose. She is consulting with area photographers known to follow Kahuna to gain input for accuracy of his essence.
Kahuna the Elk
King of Moraine Park
Estes Valley locals and visitors near and far have marveled at the magnificence of a bull elk known as Kahuna.
Whether it was his unique antlers, bellowing bugle or regal manner when protecting his harem, he captured the hearts of many around the world. In fact, it is believed Kahuna was one of the five largest and the most photographed elk in North America.
Kahuna was the finest ambassador of his kind, magnificent in his stature, bold, majestic, and unrivaled for years. The protected lands of Rocky Mountain National Park provided Kahuna with the perfect place to call home, and we are truly graced that he did.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Coldwell
Photo by Kyle Medina
Preserving a Legacy
The news of this great elk's death struck a chord as strong as his bugling that echoed across Moraine Park for more than a decade, and reverberated in headlines and on social media around the world.
Through this outpouring response, a diverse group of admirers with ties to Estes Park have come together to help establish a memorial to honor Kahuna's legacy.
The Kahuna Memorial will be a significant public art installation that will capture the beauty of the iconic elk who reigned over Moraine Park and promote a public awareness initiative about safe wildlife viewing practices.
Photo by Rick Martinez
We are using collective action and support from residents, businesses and Rocky Mountain area visitors to organize, facilitate and fund the memorial project.
Our Grassroots Strategy
With the launch of our GoFundMe Kahuna Memorial Fund associated with the Art Center of Estes Park, a 501(c)(3) charity, we are able to garner financial support from donors familiar with Kahuna, the elk herds in Estes Park, and any who share enthusiasm of Rocky Mountain wildlife.
Photo by Brad Manard
Hear Me Bugle!
Photo by Kyle Medina
Would you like to know more? Want to volunteer?
If you have questions about the memorial or safety initiative, curious about special events planned, looking for opportunities to volunteer or need more information about sponsorships and donations, let us hear from you!
The Kahuna Memorial Project provides multiple touch points for interested individuals to learn more, follow progress and share memorable moments of watching Kahuna or overall elk watching experiences.
There is a dedicated Kahuna Memorial Facebook group, plus Instagram and Twitter accounts to help stay in the know.
Followers will hear about project progress, special events, fundraising milestones along with wildlife observation safety tips and associated community outreach to drive safety awareness.
The Art Center of Estes Park
517 Big Thompson Ave # 210, Estes Park, CO 80517