Best places to see elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
GSMNP officials offer advice on where and how to view elk safely in the park.
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is rich with a variety of animals, including elk.
GSMNP officials offered advice on where and how to view elk safely.
When viewing elk, GSMNP officials warned people to keep a healthy distance of at least 50 yards, which is about half a football field.
Officials also advised visitors on the top places for elk viewing:
- Porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center
- Open fields between the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Smokemont Campground
- Cataloochee Valley
The Smoky Mountains are a unique home for elk as a herd was reintroduced in 2001, according to GSMNP officials. Over 20 years later, the single herd has split into multiple harems with about 250 individual elk.
GSMNP officials said a harem is a group of female animals that are herded and/or controlled by one or two male animals for the purpose of mating. On the other hand, a herd is simply a large group of animals that live, feed or migrate together.
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