Sunday, May 11, 2014

Creature Feature #204: Elk

The Elk, also known as the Wapiti, is among the largest of the deer species. He is naturally occuring in North America and eastern Asia and has also found a foothold in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Only the male bears antlers, which he grows in spring and are shed in winter. In spring, displaying his proud rack, he bugles loudly to attract females and alert rival males of his presence. If challenged, the two stags will face off against one another, starting with posturing and moving into sparring with their antlers. Serious injuries can be sustained. Once the stag has collected a number of hinds, he protects them from rivals, often going for lengthy periods of time without feeding. A stag must be in peak condition to both mate with many hinds and then survive the oncoming winter.

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