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YMCA of the Rockies: Art and Nature Inspire! Public Art Walking Tour
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This is a contributing entry for YMCA of the Rockies: Art and Nature Inspire! Public Art Walking Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
This artistic elk sculpture installed outside the Mootz Family Craft and Design Center is called Andrew. A young boy named Andrew Adler was raising money for his bar mitzvah. He loved coming to YMCA of the Rockies and spending time at the craft center with his family. Andrew donated the money he raised to the Y and the sculpture is named after him. Andrew the Elk is painted different colors every year. What colors would you paint him? Do you think he's life-size?

Andrew the Elk

This sculpture of a male elk is painted in various stripes and swirls of bright blue, pink, red, yellow, lime green, and purple. His antlers are lime green and wrapped with lights.

Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Three large elk stand in Rocky Mountain National Park. The male with his large antlers stands in between two females.

Male elk relaxing in the grass outside the Lula W. Dorsey Museum

A male elk is laying down in the center of the image, in the grass underneath a large tree.

Elk are among the many different types of wildlife that live in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. Because Estes Park and YMCA of the Rockies are so close to the park, it is very common to see elk walking the streets of downtown or relaxing in the open spaces in front of the Administration Building at the Y. The best time to see elk is during their rutting season in the fall. Typically, you can see one male elk (bull) with many females (cows). If you're lucky, you might even get to hear the distinct sound of the bulls bugling. If you visit in the summer, however, you might get to see some baby elk as they are typically born around June.

Elk are very large animals and can weigh over 700 pounds. It is estimated that there are over 2,000 elk that live around the Estes Park area. Just like deer, male elk grow and lose their antlers every year. While the antlers are growing, there is a layer of soft, velvet skin that is shed during the summer. If you see Aspen trees with lots of dark scratch marks, that is likely from elk or deer using the tree to remove this velvet from their antlers.

In the 1800s, people moved west and settled in the Estes Valley. They hunted elk extensively and by the 1890s, only a few elk remained. In 1913 and 1914, before Rocky Mountain National Park was established, 49 elk were moved from Yellowstone National Park to this area by the Estes Valley Improvement Association and the United States Forest Service. All the elk in the Estes Valley today are descendants from those elk from Yellowstone.

National Elk Refuge - Elk Facts, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Accessed November 13th 2020.,can%20weigh%20over%20700%20pounds..

An Insider's Guide to Wildlife Watching in Estes Park, Visit Estes Park. Accessed November 13th 2020.

History of Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, National Parks Service. Accessed November 22nd 2020.

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