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Casualty of Cool

📸 by @gondolarides

Elk bull impaled by another bull while rutting.

The wound is healed, meaning this guy has been carrying this souvenir around for quite some time.

The rut (mating season) is characterized in male ungulates by an increase in testosterone, exaggerated sexual dimorphisms and increased aggression and interest in females.

It’s the time of year when elk, especially bulls, are more active and less cautious than usual. This makes them easier to hunt, as well as more susceptible to being hit by motor vehicles.

The bull has one thing on his mind at this time of the year: to find as many females as he can. He will chase after many cows for weeks, barely eating. The rut can take its toll on the bulls: they are usually quite worn out by the end of the breeding season – @wikipedia



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