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Wapiti in Jasper National Park # 223

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Date: 2000.08.04
Vantage Point: Highway 16 near Edna Lake

Caption: A wapiti stag grazes on roadside vegetation in Jasper National Park.

PhotoDescr: 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. This stag sports the full rack of antlers (six points per side) of the mature male, four or more years of age. These antlers are used to establish dominance during the rutting season, but can also be used against humans invading their space. They have also been known to use their razor-sharp hooves on those who mistake them for Bambi or Santa's reindeer.

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