Rockies species of Wapiti are otherwise know as Elk. These are
not to be confused with the European Moose, which are also called
elk. Half way between a moose and a deer they are recognizable
by their significant size (9 feet long and 5 feet at the shoulder),
small tail and straw colored patch of fur on their rumps. They
are very commonly seen around Jasper. They are not very mobile
and will be seen in herds of 10-30 animals and sometimes in herds
as large as a hundred animals.
|Elk almost disappeared from
Alberta for good. They numbered fewer than 70 at Elk Island
Park near Edmonton. The entire population of Alberta Elk
are descended from these few animals
Elk are very easy to find around the towns of Jasper and Banff as well as along
the Icefields Parkway.
Elk using crosswalk in town of Banff.
Wapiti, otherwise known as North American Elk
coats are golden brown with the coat becoming more grey
as winter approaches. Large yellowish rump patch is evident
and the bulls will have a dark brown throat mane. Antlers
will start growing in the elk's second year and by age four
will have six points. Antlers are shed in spring with new
ones developed again by late summer.
|DO NOT FEED!
The animals appear docile, as
you might expect from a deer but it is NOT wise to approach
Wapiti, especially in the spring during calving season (May-June).
If you do happen to be charged by an elk then try and place
a tree or other object between you and the animal. They are
not very swift around trees and will lose interest in good time.
Try to make yourself appear larger than you actually are and make lots of noise.
Elk are the most vocal of the deer family capable of making
a wide range of sounds including squeaks, meows, barks, bugle
sounds and coughs.