Archive for August 14th, 2014

14
Aug
14

Elk: Grazing at Mammoth Hot Springs

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Elk gather near the Mammoth Hot Springs visitor center.

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14
Aug
14

Elk in Yellowstone

Elk congregate in the Mammoth Hot Springs area.  I saw the signs before I saw the elk.  The signs stated, “DANGER” “Do not approach elk”.  I turned the corner and there they were.  Everywhere!  People that is.  About fifty elk had gathered on the clover lawns and busily grazed, while people left their cars and, in spite of the signs, approached the elk.  One group of people had approached one large female to within about ten feet.  I sat watching from inside my car as one of them turned with a very satisfied and proud look after taking a picture.  He seemed so proud of himself.  I guess I mumbled out loud because after I heard myself say, “You’re going to get your ass stomped dumbass.”  All five of them got a serious look on their face and immediately took a few steps away from the elk.

Seriously folks, they are wild animals.  Just because they are used to humans doesn’t mean they are tame.  It means they have lost their natural fear of humans and if you get too close or they perceive you as a threat, they will react the way a wild animal reacts.  I hope getting charged by a wild animal that weighs around five hundred pounds (225 kilos) doesn’t hurt too much, but it probably will.  Oh and the big bull males go about 700 pounds (over 300 kilos).  If you want to get a nice close-up, buy yourself a nice telephoto lens and do yourself and the wildlife a favor.

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