Tule elk

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I spent last Monday with two herds of tule elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. nannodes) at Point Reyes National Seashore. The weather changed from foggy to a brief spell of sunshine, and back to extremely foggy. This shot was taken in the latter foggy episode. Fortunately, the elk were grazing happily not too far away from the path. However, the dominant male was keeping a close eye on me, while preventing the females from straying off too far. After about 1.5 hours of me standing still on the path, about 100 meters away from the herd, the wind turned slightly and blew my scent right towards the herd. A number of females put their heads up and sniffed, seemed to classify me as harmless, and started to move slowly in my direction, leading others in their wake. When they were about 15 meters away, this male intercepted them and started to maneuver them away from me. At this point I took this shot and a couple of others that you can find in this series or in the the animal gallery: http://www.andreasgros.net/galleries/animals/

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