Roosevelt Elk Dance


I witnessed a Ritual sparring match: a dance.  One bull approaches, nods his antlers in an invitation to spar, and if the other feels like sparring they engage.  These two carefully put their antlers together, pushed, and turned their heads.   I lost track of time watching them. Once eye contact was broken and one looked away his sparring partner stopped.  The contest ended as gracefully as it started.

It was late November and breeding season was over – it was more of a contest testing dominance not a violent match.


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