Urban Elk A Problem in Colorado?


Population management is often a key part of wildlife management when it comes to large ungulates such as elk, which can negatively impact areas where they are found in large numbers. Elk overpopulation is a non-issue for the most part, but there are areas in North America where elk numbers, at least for short periods of time, can cause potential problems. One of the places that experiences healthy elk numbers in addition large numbers of humans in Estes National Park, Colorado.

The video above documents some of the problems elk pose when humans create urban developments in the elk’s native range. Male elk are referred to as bulls, females as cows. Bull elk are large animals that often fight for dominance with other bull elk. Often times, elevated testosterone levels can create agitated animals that do not tolerate the invasion of their space. The above video even shows a few close calls with eager tourist ready to document there close encounters with Colorado’s free-ranging elk.

The important think to keep in mind is that the elk were there first. Yes, elk can cause problems, but much of the “problem” seems to stem not from the elk, but because of the tourist destination the elk themselves become. If you head up to Estes National Park, Colorado, just be careful!

“The city is located inside Estes National Park and are therefore a protected species and no elk hunting is allowed in that area. The residents are used to them out there, and accept them as part of the National Park the city is there to support. The city is in? a tourist area, and without the Elk and the National Park, it wouldn’t exist. There’s no public hunting in a National Park, so we don’t lose that herd, an important National Resource. We protect them so future generations will be able to enjoy them!”

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