A bull elk appears to thoroughly enjoy a mud bath as he pretties himself up for the lady elk during the rut.
There are a few videos on the Internet of bull elk sloshing in mud wallows, and let’s face it, they are all fun to watch.
Maybe the attraction is as simple as seeing a large, majestic animal with such stately and monumental antler adornment appearing to play with such apparent joy and childlike abandon.
This video was taken by a ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Mud wallows are one of the more dramatic signs of elk presence and activity. Not only do they look impressively chaotic and dynamic, but they often smell as prominently as the appear.
Elk will urinate and defecate in a mud wallow, and roll and slop around in it to cover themselves in the odiferous mixture.
In doing so, they cover themselves with a scent that is the elk equivalent of a man’s cologne. If cow elk roll in the wallow, it’s a sign that they too are interested in what a bull has to offer.
The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife indicates that; “Receptive cow elk, drawn by the odor, will also roll and urinate in the wallow, indicating their willingness to mate. Elk that use these wallows may become so foul smelling that, when downwind, humans can easily detect their presence.”
Also, offering further evidence of the idea that nature is truly a web of life connections, the Washington DFW indicates that; “Abandoned wallows will likely be filled with water, have grasses growing around them, and may develop into breeding sites for frogs and salamanders.”
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