Just 70 miles from Denver, Estes Park is a paradise for outdoor activities. There’s no limit to the types of activities that visitors to Colorado can experience here, as it’s surrounded by protected areas like Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Not only is Estes Park stunning all around, but it’s also known for its wildlife. People from all over the world come here to watch wild animals all year round. Others are lucky enough to call this paradise their home.
An Estes Park resident captured an incredible interaction in his backyard. This person has horses and loves to watch them from the comfort of his home. On an ordinary afternoon, they spotted elk on the other side of the fence.
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Although people think elk are docile, they can actually be very aggressive. Thanks to this Colorado resident and his horse, these elk just wanted to say hello to the nearby animals! At first, one of the horses seemed less interested in the idea of these unknown visitors passing by.
Running away is the horse’s preferred means of self-defense against a predator or dangerous situation. Some believe that horses are descended from smaller animals that must escape predators to survive. The one in this video appears to be spitting at the elk or poking its head forward.
The horse leaned further against the fence, trying to smell the elk. Horses have a better sense of smell than humans, but not as sensitive as canines. For example, horses can use their sense of smell to identify other horses, humans, predators and food.
Even if we try to mask the drug with a good-tasting reward, the horse can still detect it in the feed. Horses show an absurd fear of certain smells, such as the strong smells associated with pigs.
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In addition, horses have significantly better hearing than humans. A horse’s hearing is primarily used for three purposes: detecting noises, locating sounds, and providing sensory information that enables horses to recognize sounds. They could have heard the elk coming before they saw them!
There’s also an elk grazing in the background and another horse near a fence, and it seems like these two pairs could be good friends. A comment on the viral video read: “Horses are so sociable they bond with any creature. It’s one of the things that makes them so easy to love.”
We can’t disagree! Wild animals are often very defensive, especially when approached by unfamiliar creatures. The respect these two species have for each other in this moment is remarkable.
Another viewer pointed out that the stunning sight of wildlife would make a great holiday card!
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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