This Bull Elk (Cervus elaphus manitobensis) is following his females across the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee NC. Elk are the largest animals living in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due to over-hunting, the Elk herd completely disappeared in 1790. The current herd was successfully re-introduced in 2001 with 52 original individuals. To date, there are an estimated 150 to 200 elk living on private and public land near Cherokee NC.
Would you like to order a digital version of this image?