Elk rehab on the way | SummitDaily.com

Elk rehab on the way

FRISCO – The prognosis for Frisco’s wounded bull elk is optimistic.Denver-area wildlife artist Stephen LeBlanc examined his bronze creation Thursday and concluded that the piece is salvageable, despite having fallen victim to a hit and run last Sunday.”It’s not going to be a total loss, as I was afraid it might be,” LeBlanc said. “But we’ll have to completely recast new legs, a new base and the horn that was stolen.”The Frisco Arts Council commissioned the $38,000 elk three years ago. The sculpture greeted visitors and locals from atop the Summit Boulevard/Interstate 70 roundabout until an automobile crashed into it a few days before Thanksgiving.LeBlanc did not yet know how much the repairs would cost, but the town’s insurance will cover the expense. He estimated the piece needs about 100 hours worth of restoration work.”It’s one of my favorite pieces. I like the attitude and the muscle structure. It’s kind of unfortunate this happened now at the holidays when all the ski traffic comes,” LeBlanc said.The elk should bugle to motorists again by mid-January or early February after LeBlanc repairs it in his Englewood studio, where he creates the bronze wildlife for display around the country.The accomplished sculptor has a degree in wildlife biology, a lifelong passion he has combined with his artistic talents. He spends two to three months each year photographing animals in their natural habitats as models for his bronze work.”This year we’re going to Turkey, Uganda, Nairobi and Johannesburg, South Africa, to shoot lots of pictures for some African pieces,” LeBlanc said. Colorado State Patrol has no information about the vehicle that damaged the sculpture.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at jsutor@summitdaily.com.

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