Tule elk are a subspecies of elk that are native to only California. Once abundant, they were hunted to near extinction after the Gold Rush. A small handful of elk were discovered on a private ranch in San Joaquin County in the mid 1870’s and protected by the rancher.
Flash forward, tule elk were reintroduced to the area in Santa Clara County in 1978. The herd split up, and some of them took up residence near our San Antonio Reservoir.
The ancestors of that herd are still there today, and apparently making themselves available for photo ops by watershed keeper Pat Jones while on his rounds.
Pat spied this gentleman below Turner Dam last weekend.
Have a great weekend, everyone!