Orphaned elk nuzzles firefighters after they put out wildfire

In this Saturday, July 2, 2016 photo provided by Kittitas County Fire & Rescue shows an affectionate elk greeting Kittitas County Fire & Rescue firefighter Jonas Smith over the holiday weekend as they worked to tame a wildfire in Kittias County, Wash. The orphaned elk, dubbed Buttons by the locals, is a fixture in Kittitas County, where she took up residence with some cows and goats on a hillside. (Richelle Risdon/Kittitas County Fire & Rescue via AP)

CLE ELUM, Wash. (MEDIA GENERAL/AP) – An affectionate elk stopped to say thanks to some Washington state firefighters over the holiday weekend as they worked to tame a wildfire.

Kittitas County Fire District spokesperson Richelle Risdon said she arrived at the scene Saturday to see the elk nuzzling up to firefighters in the command post area and resting her head on their shoulders.

Risdon snapped some photos and shared them on the district’s Facebook page. Her post has since been shared more than 6,000 times.

According to a 2015 story from The Daily Record, the elk, dubbed Buttons by locals, is well known in the rural Washington community. Chane Roghair told The Daily Record that Buttons “showed up here when she was little and adopted the goats and horses as her family, and she just stayed around.”

“She’s actually really friendly. I think everybody in the county knows her,” Roghair said.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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