Elk in the Park

Within the park we have several healthy large herds of European Elk. Back in 2000 the Ontario Government created a restoration plan to re-establish the Elk population in the Bancroft area. In January 2000 two herds of Elk from Elk Island National park in Alberta were shipped to Bancroft in hopes to repopulate the area. In January 2001 a second release was done and 50 more Elk were re-established into the area. By 2002 the population was successful at naturally reproducing and re-introductions were no longer needed.
In 2011 the Elk population was deemed healthy and sustainable, later in the year Elk were added to the hunting registry for the Bancroft area. In September of 2011 the first Elk season opened up. Elk are part of the ungulate family meaning large animals with hooves, they are larger than deer but smaller than moose. Like moose, elk males are also bulls and females are cows. They have distinct colour markings making it easy to distinguish from deer and moose. During the summer months they are a copper colour and the rest of the year they maintain a light tan colour. Their rumps are a large beige patch and always have dark legs.
Elk antlers are one of the largest antlers in the ungulate family. Growing vertically 4 ft to 5 ft they are the tallest but not the heaviest. Moose antlers although close to the 4 ft range they grow horizontally instead, one antler weighing up to 40 pounds. Only male Elk have antlers and will shed every year.

While in the park be sure to keep your eyes and ears open as it’s very possible to spot an elk during daylight hours. You might not always see one but there’s a good chance you could hear one.

FUN FACT: Newborn calves are born around 30-35 pounds and are spotted like baby deer (fawn) to help with camouflage.



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