I was cycling home this afternoon, hurrying because the weather had changed for the worse in the hour or so that I’d been out, when I spotted these gals… The resident elk herd was enjoying the fresh grass right beside the main road leading into town.
I only saw cows and youngsters, no bull with this group (I just learned that tidbit – the males are not bucks, as I would have thought…) who were eating and lounging and paying no attention to traffic or cyclists waving cameras in their direction.
For your edification, a few useless facts about elk:
- There used to be 6 sub-species of elk in North America, but two are now extinct
- Mature bulls can weigh more than 700 lbs (explaining why it’s such bad news when they are hit by cars on the highway)
- To attract females, males urinate on themselves, soaking their hair and making sure they are nice and smelly (rather glad males of the human species don’t indulge in such delightful behaviour)
- Utah has claimed the Rocky Mountain Elk as its state animal
- An adult elk will eat about 20 lbs of vegetation in a day
What’s your favourite local wildlife species?