Elk in the ocean

Elk in the ocean

In a photo taken in early May, an elk takes salt baths in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kamchatka. Inspectors found him swimming. Kronotsky Reserve (see 3-3-3327. video 3-3-33110.). The elk stood in cold water for almost an hour, and then slowly dried on the shore under the sun for another 20 minutes. His calm was disturbed by the appearance of a brown bear. The elk ran along the coast, the bear chased after him, and both of them disappeared from view (see 3-3-3329. Video 3-3-33110.). An hour later, the bear was again seen in the same place. Apparently, the hunt failed, and the elk managed to escape.

Elk in the ocean

Brown bear is approaching a moose. Photo © Anna Eliseeva, Kronotsky Nature Reserve, Kamchatka, May 2020

Mostly brown bears are herbivorous animals. But sometimes they hunt other mammals, including moose (see the picture of the day 3-3-3355. A thrifty bear from Pokormezhny 3-3-33110.), And also eat insects (see the picture of the day 3-3-3357. Baikal bear entomophages 3-3-33110.). Usually, bears resort to predation in the spring, when other feeds are still not enough.

Moose are also herbivorous: they feed on shoots of trees and shrubs, needles, bark, mushrooms, herbs, aquatic vegetation (3-3-3361. Sprouts 3-3-33110., Water lilies, capsules, 3-3-3363. Chillim 3-3-33110.). But there is not enough salt in such food, therefore, in places where it is possible, moose go to the sea coast in search of algae thrown out by the surf to lick the salty sand and drink water. Either they are searching for solonetzes — areas of soil with a high content of minerals, as well as willingly visiting man-made artificial solonetzes.

Elk in the ocean

Male moose on artificial salt flats. Often, salt licks are installed in hunting farms or in specially protected natural areas to attract animals. Photo from the camera trap installed in the Taganay National Park from the site taganay.org

But why did the moose in the Kronotsky zapovedenik swim for so long in the cold sea? Perhaps the adoption of such baths helps get rid of ectoparasites which are in the set parasitize on elks and other ungulates, for example, 3-3-3389. ixodid ticks , lice , water beetles . In general, moose can often be seen in the water, they are able to swim long distances, in the summer they hide in rivers and lakes from 3-3-3395. gnats and heat, at the same time diving behind aquatic plants (see the picture of the day The infamous midge ).

Elk feeds on aquatic plants in a lake in Canada, diving after them and holding their breath for up to 3-3-3117.

You probably noticed that the moose on the main photo has no horns. It is for the outstanding antlers of the moose that they are called moose: moose antlers have a wide spade-shaped base plate and processes, which makes them similar to agricultural 3-3-3109. soy . Only males have horns and use them in competition for females. In November-December, they drop them, and in late April or May, the horns begin to grow back. So the hero of our story, which occurred in early May, is either a male with horns that have not yet grown, or a moose cow.

Photo © Anna Eliseeva, Kronotsky Nature Reserve, Kamchatka, May 42020.

Anna Evseeva

27 май 2020 /
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