Giant Moose let loose in the Wildwood
The first of two European elk - known as moose in North America – have been let loose in two large woodland enclosures at the Canterbury based wildlife charity last night, September 10th 2013
The young female will grow up to an impressive height of 8ft (2.5m) and weigh over three quarters of a tonne.
Peter Smith, Chief Executive of the Wildwood Trust charity, said yesterday.
"It's great to see these majestic beast roaming in Wildwood after a break in the UK of over 3000 years. They are joining our wolves, bison, wild boar, beavers and lynx helping to complete the wildwood collection, eventually representing all of our formally native species."
"Our mission is larger than teaching visitors and school children about our amazing natural heritage; we are working on restoring some of these animals to the wild. Our charitable vision is to rewild Britain and create natural landscapes, brim full of wildlife for our future generation, and in the process save taxpayers millions in tax breaks and subsidies."
"Rewilding works by having large formally native animals on nature reserves, their grazing, munching and digging then create the conditions for a cascade of other wildlife to share the habitat with them. Animals like the elk and beaver hold the key to saving species such as the rare water vole which have, in reports last week, suffered a further catastrophic decline in numbers. Beavers and elk help create rich riverbank and wetland habitat that serve as an ideal habitat for water voles as well as a range of threatened fish, insect, birds and plants."
"While we have no plans as yet to reintroduce the elk to the wild, as they are potentially dangerous to humans, we are working on major projects to restore beaver to the UK, and hope one day top create the space for Britain to once again have elk in the wild."
The young Elk cow, will be named by popular vote on the Wildwood Trust Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/thewildwoodtrust?ref=hl
She will be joined by a young bull Elk next week and it is hoped that romance will blossom and continue the line of these wonderful animals.
Elk are immensely strong but visitors can see her protected by special 10ft electric fence. Elk are just one of the many animals of Britain's past and present that can be seen at the award winning Canterbury based charity.
Wildwood is an ideal day out for all the family where you can experience the amazing world of British Wildlife and its conservation. Wildwood offers its members and visitors a truly inspirational way to learn about the natural history of Britain by actually seeing the wildlife that once lived here, like the wolf, beaver, red squirrel, wild boar and many more.
Wildwood is situated close to Canterbury, just off the A291 between Herne Bay and Canterbury. For more information visit our website at www.wildwoodtrust.org or telephone 01227 712 111.
Form more information contact Peter Smith, 01227 712111,
1. Size – up to 8ft tall
2. Weigh up to 800Kg, the biggest of all the deer species
3. The Elk's massive antlers weigh up to 20kg and are considered the fastest growing animal tissue, developing in only 3 months. The extinct Irish elk had even bigger antlers at over 15ft across
4. They can run at over 35 miles per hour, but prefer jogging at around 6mph.
5. They have poor eyesight and are colour blind, but have excellent night vision
6. Elk are browsers and not grazers and play an import role in the ecology of riverbanks and wetlands
7. Despite their size elk often fall prey to wolves and bears. But it was man that nearly hunted these animals to extinction. Elk, along with many other wild animals, are now retuning from Eastern Europe and have been sighted living wild in Germany.
Registered Charity No 1093702