Friday, February 13, 2009

Yellowstone National Park-More Photos Of Bull 6

Today we look at more photos of the elk in Mammoth Hot Springs. It is my understanding that the houses depicted here are the residences of park employees. On this day the streets in this area were closed to foot traffic by the general public because of the presence of elk.

Officials Take The Situation In Mammoth Hot Springs Very Seriously

While I was there Bull 6 spent part of his time on the terrace featured in yesterday's post. Periodically, he pursued cows into the area around the buildings.

Bull 6 Near A Residence

I have found video on the Internet where a person in one of these houses filmed someone trying to leave while a bull was in the lawn. The animal lost no time in chasing the person back inside the house.

Bull 6 Bugles-Note Numbered Tag

Unfortunately, no one will thrill to the sight of this magnificent animal again, but another will take his place, and so the cycle of life continues.

For more Camera Critter's photographs, Click Here!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yellowstone National Park: Famous Bull 6 Dies In Accident

In a news release dated February 11, 2009, Yellowstone National Park Officials announced the accidental death of Bull #6 on Sunday night, in Gardiner, Montana, which is near the northern border of the park. He was perhaps the most famous bull elk in the park. The full story appears on The Yellowstone Park Website. I was fortunate enough to photograph this bull during our trip to the park in late August, 2008.

According to the press release:

"Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks staff members believe the animal tripped while trying to cross a fence and somersaulted onto his back, where he was pinned between rocks with his antlers beneath him and suffocated."

In the photo below he is standing on a travertine terrace near park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs. Although not plainly visible in this photo, he had a small orange tag with the number six on it, in his left ear.

Bull# 6

Park Officials believed the elk was at least fifteen years old. His antlers were cut off during the rut of 2004 and 2005 to reduce the risk that he would injure persons or damage property. He was known for "horning" vehicles and chasing unwary tourists.

Mammoth Hot Springs-Park Headquarters

During our visit, the rut was already underway and park rangers were exercising tight crowd control to keep the tourists and the elk separated. Persons are required to stay at least 25 yards away from most animals and 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

Will He Attack!

He was relatively calm on this day, but this can change in an instant. I have not seen a Pennsylvania elk attack a car, but one can find several video clips of Yellowstone elk doing so by doing a Google search on the subject. In addition, I do know a fellow Pennsylvanian that was chased by him some years ago--and NO! it wasn't me!