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Bull elk, with large antlers, alongside female elk during rutting season, autumn.  A bull will defend his harem of 20 cows or more from competing bulls and predators. Only mature bulls have large harems and breeding success peaks at about eight years of age. Bulls between two to four years and over 11 years of age rarely have harems, and spend most of the rut on the periphery of larger harems. Young and old bulls that do acquire a harem hold it later in the breeding season than do bulls in their prime. A bull with a harem rarely feeds and he may lose up to 20 percent of his body weight while he is guarding the harem. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA, Cervus canadensis, natural history stock photograph, photo id 19724
Bull elk, with large antlers, alongside female elk during rutting season, autumn. A bull will defend his harem of 20 cows or more from competing bulls and predators. Only mature bulls have large harems and breeding success peaks at about eight years of age. Bulls between two to four years and over 11 years of age rarely have harems, and spend most of the rut on the periphery of larger harems. Young and old bulls that do acquire a harem hold it later in the breeding season than do bulls in their prime. A bull with a harem rarely feeds and he may lose up to 20 percent of his body weight while he is guarding the harem. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Image ID: 19724
Format: Digital 3:2
Copyright ©Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
This professional quality stock photo can be licensed in high resolution form by contacting the photographer: Phillip Colla, photos@oceanlight.com, (760) 707-7153, more info and photographer bio.