*notcot in nature , 10:46

Animals of Jasper National Park- 09.14.14

animal0.jpg This post is part of our special NOTCOT Alberta Great Escape series thanks to our friends at Travel Alberta. In Part I, Shawn, Bucky, and I are loaded up in the NOTFZJ80 spending a week in Alberta roadtripping, camping, and exploring all that we can fit in… follow the series here to see what inspires us along the way!

As you know, we’re pretty animal obsessed over here at NOTCOT. So when we heard there we lots of critters to see in the National Parks, I was skeptical but hopeful to get to see at least a few! When at Mount Engadine Lodge we were lucky to see a few moose, deer, and a mama and baby black bear… but when we went to Jasper National Park… driving around we found Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Mountain Goats, Black Bears, Canadian Geese, and some monster crows. Far more than I expected, and so many of each! The one elusive creature we tried to find, but will have to come back for? Beavers! Check out the amazing animals we found on the next page…

Right by the Glacier Skywalk after it was closed, we found this trio of Bighorn Sheep Rams hanging out. sheep.jpg

Look at the horns on these guys! sheep1.jpg

One in particular was curious about Bucky and they had quite the stare down as he walked up to him. sheep2.jpg

Driving along the road we found a gang of elk… elk.jpg

… and their HUGE bull - look at the antlers on that guy! elk1.jpg

Some of the pics are lower res as driving by, sometimes it’s just cell phone camera out the window and hoping for the best! You can see quite a few of the females are tagged with gps neck trackers and ear tags. elk2.jpg

We saw these guys again in a scarier situation when they literally started darting in front of the car! elk3.jpg

He went last… ladies first? elk4.jpg

And on our way out - we actually saw them YET AGAIN. Only they were all curled up resting under some trees. Flipping through the brochures for Jasper, i can’t help but wonder if this is their usual gang of elk, because their bull pictures looked JUST like him.

Perhaps the cutest little guys to watch - this band of Mountain Goats complete with babies - eating on the hillside are adorable! goats.jpg

Look at the little guy following along… goats1.jpg

… and this baby waiting for them to get down! goats2.jpg

Mesmerizingly playful and beautiful creatures! goats3.jpg

You’ll have to take my word for it, but at least this time we have some kind of picture (unlike the bears that ran by at Mount Engadine Lodge) - a mama bear and THREE babies went RUNNING by the car! We were probably too in awe to grab a phone fast enough, but you can see some of their bodies in the trees here. bear.jpg

What’s a trip to Canada without seeing some Canadian Geese? Honking away, Bucky wasn’t sure WHAT to make of them at first. geese.jpg

He watched quietly and as soon as he started pointing and wanting to rush over… off they went! geese1.jpg

The last thing we saw sprinting along the road on our way out appears to be a group of Bighorn Sheep females! highway.jpg

They look so different with their little horns relative to those males we saw earlier! highway1.jpg

And just because i wasn’t sure where to put this one (it’s from Lake Louise) but we also saw SO many of these throughout both Banff and Jasper… the ravens are HUGE. Probably twice the size of those crows Bucky’s used to seeing around at home. crow.jpg

And on the hunt to see Beavers… we tried. We really tried! A ranger told us a few possible spots to check out at dusk/night - and so we wandered into some swampy lakeside trails in hopes of finding beaver ponds, and some looked promising, but we didn’t find any… beaver1.jpg

… we did hear some big non-bird like rustling around, but no sightings! Perhaps next time? beaver2.jpg

All in all - Jasper National Park was incredible. Can’t wait to go back during a different season and see what other critters we can find!

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