HAYSI, Va. (WJHL) – A large group of male elk were seen close to the entrance of Breaks Interstate Park earlier this week.
According to a post from the park, a staff member saw the elk near the park entrance around the area known as Grassy Valley and Grassy Creek.
At least five bull elk can be seen pictured together.
Park Superintendent Austin Bradley told News Channel 11 the behavior is actually quite common among elk and other species of wildlife within the park.
“By the third year of a bull elk’s life, he will break off from the family herd comprised mostly of cow elk and young bulls, and spend his time almost exclusively with other bulls,” Bradley said. “These groups are called bachelor herds, and will hold together until the testosterone starts kicking in during late summer and fall.”
Once the mating season is over, the bachelor herds reform and stick together until the next rut comes around.
Bradley said the Virginia and Kentucky elk herd at the park appear to be starting to merge.
According to Bradley, the specific herd of bulls pictured in the post is becoming a regular sight for visitors to the park during the winter months. Sightings are less common during the rest of the year.