In the early autumn, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado reverberates with the haunting calls of elk. Since the elk population in the park was restored by transplanting animals from Yellowstone National Park, the herd there has grown to a healthy size and has become quite a draw for tourism. The current government shut down, which has closed National Parks in the United States, and flooding in and around Estes Park have both put a damper on “Elktober” in 2013. There is a great article on that subject here. This may be inconvenient for humans, but the elk surely appreciate the privacy during mating season. People are often careless around these powerful animals, invading their space and putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
Elk cries, like the ululations and yips of coyotes, are musical, eerie sounds. Elk are among the most vocal species of cervids, or deer. The high-pitched vocalizing of the male, known as bugling, seems incongruous with his large size. This high quality wildlife video from Colorado Parks and Wildlife contains beautiful footage of Rocky Mountain National Park and the elk herd at sunrise. What a magical experience– definitely one to be enjoyed from a distance with great reverence. Stunning work by Dennis McKinney and Nick Clement.