2022—Scratch That Itch!

Sometimes you just gotta scratch that itch! This handsome bull Elk has a built-in back scratcher. He used the tines of the unseen antler to deftly scratch his back. The satisfaction he felt at relieving the itch is quite apparent in his face. We encountered this handsome specimen resting near a parking lot at Mammoth Hot Springs. He was barely 25 yards from the edge of the parking area, the minimum distance that Yellowstone National Park allows visitors when encountering Elk in the park. A Park Ranger stopped to comment as we stood at the edge of the road, thanking us for not venturing closer and reminding us that if the Elk stood up, we needed to return to our vehicle immediately. After 20 minutes, the Elk stood and we exited. Sadly, other visitors were not as respectful of the Elk or even their own safety and as we drove off we saw several walking toward the elk, much closer than the safe distance the Park requires. We can only hope the ranger circled back through.