The sentinel bull elk led the Rattlesnake Mountain herd through the 1980s and into the 1990s. The animal died at 17, an old age for elk. A taxidermal Mel and the antlers he shed over the years are currently on display at the CREHST museum in Richland.
Brett Tiller is one of the scientists who first spotted Mel in 1992. "I saw Melvin in my sights with a tranquilizer dart gun. He was down in a ravine and we were in a helicopter trying to put radio collars on the animals, and we were fortunate enough to tag him."
Scientists found Melvin's antlers after he shed them every year, which helped researchers track the bull and the rest of the herd.
You can see Melvin on the walls of the CREHST Museum through April.