Massive Elk Herd in Colorado Rushes Across Roadway in Spectacular Video

A massive herd of elk galloped across a Colorado highway recently in an amazing show of energy often displayed during mating season. The Rocky Mountain state is home to the largest elk population in the world, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials noted in the caption of a video they posted to Twitter. The brief clip shows hundreds of elk queued on the side of a mountain slope as they wait patiently to cross over the roadway to join the rest of the herd. Once they get going, they really pick up speed with their downward momentum.

Photo: Pixabay/MemoryCatcher

Rutting Season

Elk are most active during mating season, which runs from mid-September through mid-October, and sometimes even into November. During the rut, bull elk can frequently be heard bugling. In order to produce the sounds, two forces must be at work: they simultaneously move their lips and nostrils to roar and whistle all at once. Because of its unique timber and volume (capable of being heard miles away), bugling is one of the best-known forms of elk communication.

elk herd
Photo: Pixabay/TjRiggs

Speed & Agility

Attaining weights of up to 700 pounds, North American elk is one of the largest deer species on the planet. They are to be given a wide berth in nature, as they can be unpredictable if they feel threatened. One startling fact in connection with them is that a mature bull can run as fast as 40 miles per hour and have even succeeded in outrunning horses in short races. To top it off, they can jump eight feet vertically!

You’d be surprised at how agile they are, but another video caught a youngster on a trail cam sprinting about and hopping sideways in a spurt of adorable adolescent energy.

Photo: Pixabay/u_4ko57cbj

Colorado Elk Viewing

Visitors to Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park can view telltale signs of the creatures through marks called “rubs” that are left on trees when a bull has scratched the bark off using its antlers. The activity is meant to impress cows that are in season. The best places and time to catch sight of elk in the state are on the east side of the Rocky Mountain National Park at Upper Beaver Meadows, Horseshoe Park, and Moraine Park at dawn when there are fewer people around. Just remember to keep your distance and limit sightseeing to binoculars. Never approach one and keep dogs in check. Now check out the video courtesy of Eric N. Olson below!

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