Elk mating calls echo through the ages in what is now Colorado’s largest national park.
Hear more from Jacob Job at https://www.jacobrjob.com/
Series illustration: Charlie Dillon
Episode photograph: Mark Byzewski CC-BY (Landscapes and Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park, Colorado.)
Welcome to Ambient Colorado. I’m Sarah Vitak.
The echoes of elk bugling reveal the vast high-altitude meadows in Rocky Mountain National Park.
From September through October, these male elk are calling for mates.
We begin on a cold, rainy night in Moraine Park.
The temperature is barely above freezing.
A hundred thousand years ago this area’s evergreen-covered ridges … called moraines … were created by rocks left behind by a slow-moving river of ice.
A little more than a hundred years ago … due to extensive hunting … there were no elk seen here. At that time … about fifty elk were imported from Yellowstone National Park … and now thousands of elk again find their mates in Colorado’s largest national park.
We end in Big Meadows. A bull elk walks through the tall grass and calls into the night … echoing his ancestors … who bugled here for millennia.
Sounds of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park … recorded by Jacob Job.
Series Producer … Martin Burch.
Series Adviser … Ann Marie Awad.
Sound Design by Patrick McnameeKing.
Music by R. J. Fechter.
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I’m Sarah Vitak in Denver, Colorado.