Female Elk (Cervus canadensis)

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posted by Sue Roehl alias Susan Roehl on Friday 29th of July 2022 12:22:25 PM

Yellowstone National Park Wyoming USA Female elk resting along the bank of the Madison River in Yellowstone. These are high-elevation animals that are seldom seen during hot summer days. Elk are most active early in the morning and late In the afternoon. Because grass is high on their menu, they commonly feed in large meadows, often called parks in the west. You'll also see them in areas burned by forest fires and in places recently logged, since those areas often support lush vegetation. Elk are famous for their mating calls, referred to as bugling, but don't expect to hear them vocalizing unless you're visiting the region in September or early October. That's their breeding season, and vocalizations seldom occur before and after. Male elk, called bulls, grow very large antlers and are among the most handsome animals in the west. Each mature bull gathers as many females (cows) as possible prior to the breeding season, and guards his harem from other bulls. Competition for females is fierce, and bulls have been known to kill each other. Elk are large in size; the bulls weigh from 600 to 800 pounds or more. Typically you'll see elk in herds year-round, since they're very social animals. In Yellowstone National Park Itself, you can see elk 12 months out of the year in and around the park headquarters at Mammoth just south of the North Gate at Gardiner. Animals loaf around houses, government buildings, in campgrounds and just about anywhere. Crowds of people have little effect on them. Other good spots to see elk in the park are in meadows from Mammoth to Norris Junction, and then to Madison Junction. You may also see some around Canyon Village and Old Faithful. Outside Yellowstone, look for them between the town of West Yellowstone and Big Sky.

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  • Published 06.03.23
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