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     WAPITI (ELK)


ARE WAPITI DANGEROUS TO HUMANS? 

 The Canadian 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


WAPITI
Elk are very easy to find around the towns of Jasper and Banff as well as along the Icefields Parkway.
  Elk in Crosswalk
Elk using crosswalk in town of Banff.


CARIBOU
Wapiti, otherwise known as North American Elk


Summer 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.


Wapiti

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.

 

Athabasca Falls     EDITH CAVELL VALLEY

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