Late-born Elk, Cervus elaphus, Calf Observed Near Bancroft, Ontario

Rick C. Rosatte, Joe Neuhold


A recently born male Elk (Cervus elaphus) calf was observed and photographed approximately 30 km east of Bancroft, Ontario, on 5 October 2004. Based on the gestation period for Elk, the estimated conception date was between late December 2003 and early January 2004. This is unusual as the majority of calves are born between late May and early June with conception having occurred in September/October. This reproductive strategy allows for an optimum growth period for calves to occur before the onset of winter which increases the probability of survival. An eleven-year-old cow Elk was identified as the mother of the late born calf. The age of the cow, and her inability to meet the annual energy requirements necessary for normal reproduction, may have contributed to the late conception and parturition dates.


Elk; Cervus elaphus; Elk calf; restoration; late-born; Ontario

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