Wild times in Denmark: Elk, wolves and jackals return

 

Denmark's wildlife is getting a bit wilder, some on its own, and some by careful intervention. 

The big news (anything about an elk is big) is the re-introduction of elk to Denmark after a 5000-year absence. Five young Swedish elk have been given a new habitat on Denmark's Jutland peninsula, in an area that is the largest raised bog in Northern Europe. They'll hopefully become part of a self-sustaining ecosystem in the area.

Recently, a beaver was spotted building a dam on a golf course, the first time in 1000 years beaver have been seen north of the Limfjord. Other animals that have been staging comebacks include wolves, the European jackal, and white-headed eagles.

While the others are on their own, the elk are expected to work for their living; they and red deer are natural tree trimmers, and keep the birch forest under control. More details from TheLocal.dk HERE

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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I am glad to hear that wildlife is returning to Denmark.  Many radicals would have you believe this is impossible, but with good stewardship and efforts at conservation, it clearly can work.

PHeymont, I know you are a big city boy who rarely sees any wild animals except pigeons, but there is a difference between a moose and an elk.  Your top photo is of a cow moose.  They are massive and have legs that go on forever -- all the better to eat water vegetation with.

This is what elk look like.  The top is a female, the bottom a male. 

elk1elk2

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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I may be a city boy, but I've done my research. We're talking about alces alces here, and in North America it's a moose, while in Europe the same species is called elk.

Wasn't me who called it, by the way, but the European press.  

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

Fascinating.  Who would have thought our European friends would call a moose an elk. (wonder what they call an elk?)  Maybe we should just call him "Bullwinkle", and be done with it.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

An afterthought, moose meat is pretty tough and often gamey.  Elk meat is quite tender and tasty, to the point where they are grown as a "crop" in the Rocky Mountain region.  You'll often find elk tenderloin in fine dining restaurants through the Rockies.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Perhaps in their view, they are wondering why we call an elk a moose!

What you are calling elk is not alces alces but cervus canadensis, clearly a neighbor of yours, and native to North America and Eastern Asia. It's also called 'wapiti,' which is a native American word.

The initial confusion seems to have come from Europeans who named things after what they thought the animal resembled. Hence, for instance, our robin is no robin at all, but a thrush.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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