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Long-time readers know that we talk a lot about our Big Dog neighbors next door at the ranch. We believe you humans refer to them as horses and cows. Yes, they are really big dogs and we love seeing them and saying hello (especially when they block the road and Hu-dad has to move them to get down to the valley).
And, yes, sometimes we talk about those really cool big dogs that live in the woods and can leap really high. We think your word for those are deer.
But the coolest of them all are the really, really, really big dogs that hang out in our mountains. And we mean really, really, really big dogs.
Like us, these really, really, really big dogs like to travel in Herds as well. See if you can count how many were in this particular Herd.
Let’s help you count. To the left of the picture are two elk – one on either side of the telephone pole. Easy enough, right? To the right of the picture are two more elk. Four so far, right? Ok, now look just to the right of the three bird feeders up beside the house. Yes, that is a fifth elk.
Ha, we outnumber them!
Since these elk can weigh up to 700 lbs (317 kg), Qannik suggested that he shouldn’t have to be on a diet any more, but Hu-dad wasn’t buying any of that.
But we should tell you the worst part about this. Hu-dad saw these elk on the road headed up the mountain to our house . . . when we were not in the Jeep with him. Can you imagine that we weren’t there to make noise and scare them away . . . or, as the Hu-dad suggested, intimidated them into charging us?
Oh, on second thought, maybe it was good that we weren’t there so Hu-dad could just get these pictures from a safe distance. While these are beautiful animals, they are a little temperamental.
P.S. – The National Park Service reintroduced elk into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2001. One of the best spots inside the park to observe the elk is in Cataloochee Valley not far from our house. As the herd has grown, they have become a fairly common sight in and around our town of Maggie Valley, NC. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to visit the National Park Service information here.
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