An elk cow (Cervus canadensis) grazing in the meadow adjacent to a picnic table and two campsites in the Bridge Bay Campground at Yellowstone National Park.
Sites 170–171, Loop C, Bridge Bay Campground, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Thursday, 22 August 2019
part of the Yellowstone National Park album
While making our way through the campground loop on my first morning in Yellowstone National Park, we did not get very far before having the day's initial wildlife encounter. Elk (Cervus canadensis) are "the most abundant large mammal found in Yellowstone," which itself "is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower forty-eight states." Indeed, there was an elk bull with a very large rack of antlers grazing in the campground the night before when I first arrived, but it was rather dark and all the photographs came out blurry.
This elk cow was browsing the grasses next to two campsites in the southern end of our loop, not far from the main campground road. She was seemingly unconcerned with our presence in the truck, though was a reasonable distance away to be assured of a hasty departure if needed. We watched for just a few minutes and then proceeded toward the exit, for we were just getting started and had a full day of exploration ahead.