The Tule Elk is the smallest of three races of Elk that live in California. There was a time around the 1700’s that it was estimated about 500,000 of these elk lived in this State. But as more and more people came here to settle, the elk were hunted almost into extinction. In 1895 only 28 Tule Elk still lived in California, in spite of legislation passed in 1873 giving Tule Elk complete protection.
Today there are a few new herds living in different suitable parts of the state. In the Southern part of California, August and September are usually very dry and the many hot days have parched the remaining grass and plants that elk and many of our other wildlife depend on to survive, Water also is scarce as our seasonal creeks dry up. Add to that the recent number of wild fires burning out of control. I think we can all see the problems that our wildlife face.
So we see life isn’t so easy for our wild neighbors as the face hunger, thirst, and habitat loss.
I’m Tule Elk, a true native son,
A big, bull elk who loves to run.
My handsome antlers make me proud,
Many lady elk, I have wowed.
But life’s hard when you’re big as me,
Finding your own food constantly.
The grass is sparse, I don’t eat meat,
There’s no restaurant down the street.
So often I’m in a bad mood,
Spending all my time, searching for food.