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GrandLakeGGSpring2015

The area around Grand Lake is a magnet for animals of all sizes. The adventure is in finding animals in the wild, instead of in a zoo. Help keep wildlife wild. Never feed the animals (it’s against the law and they don’t eat what we eat) and never approach or harass wildlife. Do not run into a meadow or cross a stream to get a closer look; you are an uninvited guest in their living space. Be respectful of the animals and of those wanting to look and take pictures. Drive carefully through wildlife areas, especially at night. Elk, deer, and bighorn sheep seldom travel alone. If one animal crosses the road, others are sure to follow. NATURE’S WORLD The moose is the largest member of the deer family and the largest big-game animal in Colorado. The male has enormous antlers shaped like clawed scoops, but the female has none. Male moose, called bulls, average seven feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh in excess of 1,500lbs. Female moose, called cows, usually aren’t as big as bulls, with an average weight of 450-800lbs. Moose are identified by their large size, thick coat of chocolate-brown fur, humped shoulder, bulbous nose, and ball of skin (called a “bell”) hanging from their neck. Moose like areas with willow bottoms and beaver ponds. You can spot moose at almost any time of the day, along the road, in parking lots, even walking into town. They are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and rest at night. Unlike most other members of the deer family, moose are usually solitary creatures. Exceptions are calves that stay with their mothers and moose that may gather in groups during mating season. Moose are the unofficial mascots of Grand Lake and can cause “moose jams” when spotted near a road. But beware! They are mean, near-sighted, and extremely short-tempered. Keep your distance. Moose have been known to charge people. Although they are not usually aggressive toward humans, they certainly can be, especially during mating season or in defense of their calves. If you see a moose, don’t approach or bother it. By keeping a safe distance, you can safely enjoy these wonderful creatures. Elk are sociable animals; they are seldom found without other elk nearby. These majestic animals with a prominent white rump and tan coat can stand up to five feet tall and can weigh 1,100lbs. The stately elk (wapiti) can be seen in the morning or early evening along the edges of clearings in the Kawuneeche Valley meadows of Rocky Mountain National Park or higher up. In the fall, bull elk are famous for their bugling that echoes across the valleys. The name black bear is misleading since the bear can range in color from blond to black. Bears are generally shy; however, always use caution in brushy areas, near a stream, or where the trail 12 2 0 1 5 G R A N D L A K E G U E S T G U I D E ®


GrandLakeGGSpring2015
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