Monday, December 3, 2007

elk crossing





After seeing the "Elk Crossing" sign for the last few years, we finally saw some elk on Saturday morning in the Smokies! They were grazing in the big field at Oconoluftee Village.

The experimental release of elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park began in February, 2001 with the importation of 25 elk (see full story)... All elk are radio collared and will be monitored during the five-year experimental phase of the project (see collar in first picture).




10 comments:

June said...

Great shots! That's great that you saw them . I've never seen an elk in the flesh...I'm wondering where their habitat is - ie, are there any around Floyd. I'll have to look it up.

janeywan said...

I have been dying to get a shot of an Elk. Last year I went in search and got stuck in the deep snow we had gotten. Dumb!

This year we saw one that had been hit and was left to die along the road. Magnificent animal it was and in full velvet. Poor guy! I call the state police to come and put him down. I did take a photo of him but couldn't bring myself to post it.

Is that a tracking collar on the one you took? I'm sure it is, or a very nice collar.

bluemountainmama said...

they released some up in cataloochie valley, too. they are such elegant creatures! you were right over the mountain from my old stopping grounds.... waynesville.

Motherkitty said...

There are herds of elk near us in Land Between The Lakes in KY, along with bison, wild turkeys, eagles, herons (both blue and grey), and any number of other wild animals. The elk herd were introduced probably around 10 years ago and have thrived. They are a huge tourist attraction around here.

Loved your pictures.

Gypsy Quilter said...

They certainly are beautiful animals.

Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl said...

Wonderful shots, Susan! They are magnificent animals, and you captured that grandeur perfectly.

(Sorry not to sign my comment as "Beth." Blogger changed their comment format and I have to sign with my Google account name.)

Keith said...

"The estimated $1.1 million cost of the five-year experiment will be funded by donations from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation."

http://www.rmef.org/

This is a hunter funded group that has been expanding elk all over the United States. There has aready had a successful reintroduction in Pennsylvania with this being the first year that hunting has become necessary to control animal populations there. It was typical to see that the government run website did not give that credit.

Mimi said...

Aren't they beautiful! We saw lots of mule deer and elk also when we traveled through Arizona and Colorado.

Mimi

colleen said...

They cross pretty infrequently to warrant a sign, but I guess when they do it's big news! I just wrote a post called "Blogger crossing." I wish I had sign like this one.

Sandy said...

Great pictures of the elk!

Although elk were introduced in Ky several years ago, and I've seen the numerous crossing signs for them, I have yet to see an elk here.
I have however seen many during my many visits to Yellowstone, and they're beautiful creatures.