Friday, December 11, 2009

Roosevelt Elk

The Roosevelt or Olympic elk is the largest of the four subspecies of elk living in North America (others are the Tule elk, Rocky Mountain elk and Manitoban elk). They live in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. We saw these Roosevelt elk near Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park in Washington.

One of the neat outdoor experiences we have had as a family involved our gradually sneaking up on a group of Roosevelt elk. We were crouching in tall grass as we listened to the elk bulls bugling to each other. We felt like we were living live in a National Geographic special. Absolutely beautiful animals and the bugling is hauntingly eery.

Roosevelt bull elk weigh between 700 and 1,100 pounds; cows from 575 to 625 pounds. Some bulls introduced to Raspberry Island in Alaska have weighed nearly 1,300 pounds.

The Olympic Rain Forest is an amazing place

and the Roosevelt elk are part of what makes it very special.

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