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One-Year-Old Wapiti in Jasper National Park # 10188

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Date: 2007.08.18
Vantage Point: From Lac Beauvert loop trail

Caption: The wapiti (or elk) has unbranched antlers in its first year.

PhotoDescr: While walking the loop trail around Lac Beauvert, next to Jasper Park Lodge, my wife and I encountered this young buck grazing all by himself next to the trail. The fuzz on his antlers is called "elk velvet" and is highly prized for its medical properties, some of which have actually been scientifically verified.

The wapiti (Cervus elaphus) takes its name from the Stoney word for "white rump." Also called elk, these large members of the deer family were nearly wiped out in the Rockies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by hunters after their teeth and antlers. Since the establishment of the parks and their reintroduction, the wapiti have made a complete comeback, and now can be found in large numbers in the Rocky Mountain parks, including the townsites and golf courses of Banff and Jasper.

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