Thursday, April 8, 2010

Roosevelt Elk in Redwood NP

Roosevelt Elk

One of the highlights of our trip to the Redwood National & State Parks area was encountering a large group of Roosevelt Elk, the largest subspecies of elk in North America. We spent a lot of our time on the first day checking all of the places listed in the park guides, but didn't find any elk there. On the rainy morning of our second day though, we were treated to a herd of ~30 females and a few young males grazing in a few random fields along US-101.

Herd of Elk

Just due to happenstance, they were right near the side of the road when we stopped, and that made it easy to get close without having to leave the car.

Roosevelt Elk

In fact, there were times that they came so close, that we could hear them literally ripping the grass as they ate.

Feeding elk

With those long shaggy manes, they reminded me very much of horses or camels -- not quite what I usually associate with elk! But they sure were beautiful, and it was awesome to spend so much time in their presence.

Grazing elk

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