Elk with Newborn Calf by Athabasca River
A newborn elk calf can stand after the first 20 minutes of life, but it can not run fast or for long periods of time. At birth, an elk calf weighs about 35 pounds, gaining up to two pounds a day for the first few weeks. Mother elk can weigh more than 500 pounds. A newborn Elk calf's fur is dotted with cream-colored spots. For the first few weeks, the mother Elk will usually hide her calf in thick brush and graze at a distance so she won't draw attention to its presence. In this instance, this mother Elk has had her calf on the safety on a very small island on Athabasca River. As seen here, she chooses to use the Athabsaca River to her advantage as she pretends to cross, but actually does a semi-circle, staying nearby to protect her calf if need be.
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