Elk like the Grand Canyon too

by Guest Author | September 17, 2013

Elk at the Grand Canyon
The cavernous landscape of the Grand Canyon isn’t the only thing that lures visitors to the famous park. Apparently the lush lawns of the tourist venues are a big draw too — for elk at least. But not for much longer.

The lawns surrounding hotels and lodges at the Grand Canyon are being removed as part of a plan to keep and human visitors away from each other.

According to Ministry of Natural Resources data from 2012, the estimated number of elk in Ontario is between 648 and 926 animals.Elk have been reintroduced to the province in the areas of Lake of the Woods, Lake Huron North Shore, Nipissing/French River, and Bancroft/North Hastings.

A fall elk hunt was opened in the latter location in 2011.

Elk regularly jam up the park’s road, graze on the lawns, and can become aggressive, particularly during the fall rutting season.

Park officials want to reduce interactions with humans by depriving the elk of the food and water sources that attract them to popular tourist gathering spots.

The plan is to replace non-native grass with native vegetation that is abundant throughout the park so the elk don’t prefer one area over another.

The 2-day project to remove the lawns using herbicide is set to begin Sept. 17, weather permitting.

Native plants will become part of the landscape beginning next year.

*with files from Canadian Press


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