Life is Hard When You're a Baby Elk - New Life in RMNP

Early June is when most of the babies of RMNP arrive. After birth the elk calf spends most of its time hiding in grass or near bushes and followingelk baby kiss it's mother as she grazes. Nature is momentarily kind during the elks' first week of life - the baby doesn't produce a scent for nearly a week to help allude predators. This reprive is short lived though, as June is a calf's most dangerous time when predators like coyotes are prowling the edges of elk herds looking for a baby hiding in the grass. Generally the mothers form very small herds and the calves start playing with other calves, learning how elk life works. From birth until mid-July the calf will drink about a gallon of milk a day gaining two to three pounds a day. Life gets even harder just a few weeks, or sometimes only days after birth, as the elk herds start to move up to the tundra and the calf has to hike miles gaining 5,000 feet of elevation to start enjoying the tundra's sweet grass. Luckily, each calf has plenty of babysitters with the rest of the elk herd watching after them. Parents, when your child whines about a walk around Bear Lake, just remind them "At least you aren't a baby elk!"

Blog Post by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding. If you would like a private tour of Rocky Mountain National Park (perhaps even catch a glimpse of these elk calves!), contact Jared at YWGuiding.com.

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