|Rocky Mountain Elk|
|Type||Fourth of July|
|Shop / Animal|
|Cost||250.000 / 250.000|
|Breeding / Animal|
|in||1 day, 6 hours|
|Reward for completing a Family|
|Crossbreeding / Animal|
The Rocky Mountain Elk is a part of the Fourth of July themed collection.
The Rocky Mountain Elk is a subspecies of elk found in the Rocky Mountains and adjacent ranges of Western North America. The winter ranges are most common in open forests and floodplain marshes in the lower elevations. In the summer it migrates to the subalpine forests and alpine basins. The total wild population is about 800,000 individuals.
The Rocky Mountain Elk was re-introduced in 1913 to Colorado from Wyoming after the near extinction of the regional herds. While over-hunting is a significant contributing factor, the elk’s near extinction is mainly attributed to human encroachment and destruction of their natural habitats and migratory corridors.
As of 2010, environmental and Chronic Wasting Disease problems in Estes Park, Colorado and on a greater scale throughout the Western U.S. and North America have local, state, and federal policy makers searching for solutions.
The Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Park environments are physically disrupted by the migration of the elk, ranging in size from calves to full grown 700 lbs. adults. Several indigenous butterfly and plant species are harmed, especially the aspen groves that the elk herd of perhaps 3,000 animals decimates in its search for food. The elk population, while taxing the common food resources, also adversely affects native species that share the same food supply such as the indigenous beavers.
The Rocky Mountain Elk herd has been diagnosed with a serious disorder called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD affects the brain tissue of infected elk and is similar in symptoms to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad-cow disease (MCD). There is no evidence to conclude that elk CWD is transmutable to humans and research concerning CWD and its effect on the eco-system continues.