Edwin was born at Pueblo Zoo on June 8, 2002.  Here are some facts about him courtesy of zookeeper Nikki Emmanuel:

 

  • Edwin typically sheds his antlers yearly in early spring and begins growing new antlers almost immediatly. Within a few days fuzzy rings appear around the antler base.

 

  • Antlers continue to grow with protective velvet, which provides nutirents to the still growing bone. Antlers can grow up to one inch per day.

 

  • In the fall, Edwin scrapes all of the velvet off of his antlers to reveal new "weapons". During this time, keepers provide branches and scratchy materials to help him scrape off the velvet.  Some of Edwin's favorite toys are Christmas trees! The scratchy branches help him shed antler velvet and are readily available right around the time he's in rut.

 

  • Edwin is especially aggressive during rut, which is the period when his antlers are fully grown and ready for fighting.

 

  • Elk use their antlers to spar with other bulls for the right  breed with a harem of females called "cows". Males retain their antlers until they shed them in the spring and the cycle begins again. Elk also use bugling to establish dominance over rival males and to attract females. Some mornings you can hear Edwin's bugles throughout much of the Zoo!

 

  • The "shed" antlers are often used for enrichment around the Zoo. They are made of bone and are used in the wild by other critters (squirrels, mice, and other rodents) as a source of calcium and as a way to keep their teeth filed. 

 

  • The typical life span of an Elk is 10-13 years in the wild and 20 or more years in captivity. Gladys, who is one of Pueblo Zoo's cow elk, is 19 years old!

 

  • Have a listen to what an elk bugle sounds like!

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Pueblo Zoo  • 3455 Nuckolls Ave.  •  Pueblo, CO 81005  

Phone: 719-561-1452  Fax: 719-561-8986

 

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