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Elk Calving Season Is Here

elk-calving-motherBy: Kris Hazelton

In the next few weeks, there are going to be many new elk calves born in and around town and the cows will be on alert. The mothers are not being aggressive when defending their young, just protective. It’s our responsibility to not get too close to the baby or the mother.

Recently, the warning signs were put up in the bird sanctuary on the Lake Estes Trail, a place where the elk like to gather and give birth, and trail users are asked to heed the warning signs when elk are present. If there is a barrier across the trail, do not pass that barrier. It is there for your safety and protection. There will also be volunteers on duty during the elk calving season, please heed their advise.

If there is a protective mother elk nearby and no volunteers on duty, the best thing to do is to back away quickly. Don’t turn your back on her, as you won’t know if she is charging you. Make yourself look large. If you have a jacket, raise it above your head, and swing it around, make yourself look formidable.

elk-calving-area_5998If you come across a protective female elk, and she is endangering people in a public area, the best thing to do is move away and call the Estes Park Police Department Dispatch Center at 586-4000. They will notify the proper authorities who will temporarily close off the area until the mother moves on with her calf.

Educating ourselves and our visitors about wildlife issues is the right thing to do, especially around calving time and during the fall rut. Remember, there’s a reason it’s called wildlife.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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