Recent Trip to Point Reyes National Seashore

Photo of a cow elk with with a protruding cheek.

Cow Elk with Protruding Cheek, Point Reyes National Seashore

I drove out to Point Reyes a few days go.  I saw this cow elk on the D Ranch.  I wondered what caused that protrusion of her cheek.  Tumor?  Abscess?  A big wad of cud that would do a baseball player proud?    She seemed normal in other respects.   She has ear tags so she is an old gal.  I think the Park Service last put ear tags on elk in 1999.  That would make her 15 or more.

From what I’ve read lately, elk are a controversial subject among some of the ranchers who don’t want them eating any of the food the cows eat in the ranching areas.  I don’t know the details, but apparently this controversy has caused the Park Service to start preparing a management plan for the pastoral zone.

I also saw a few bobcats and coyotes that day.  Here’s a bobcat that caught a gopher while I was photographing him.

Close-up photo of a bobcat.

Bobcat, Point Reyes National Seashore

Like the elk, he seemed to qualify as a senior citizen. I got a few photos of him with his mouth open and his lower canines seemed pretty worn down.  He was a handsome old guy though.

Photo of a bobcat yawning.

Bobcat with Worn Out Teeth

As you can see, there doesn’t appear to be much of any lower right canine left.  For that matter, I don’t see any incisors on the bottom either.  This photo doesn’t show the complete area where the lower left canine should be because the lower lip is in the way somewhat, but if it were normal I think we’d see at least the top half of it.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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7 Responses to Recent Trip to Point Reyes National Seashore

  1. Pat Ulrich says:

    Awesome stuff, Jim! always love to visit my old hiking grounds through your images! great portrait of the bobcat! interesting to hear about the conflict between elk and the ranchers as well. It is a fascinating balance between federal lands and local farming families in the park. If you haven’t seen it yet, there was recently a great documentary about Point Reyes (and other public lands in Marin) that aired on PBS called “Rebels with a Cause”. I recommend it highly if you have a chance

  2. Charlotte Crackbon says:

    Thanks for sharing Jim, I also admired the Bobcat.

  3. focusedonnature says:

    I never tire of your bobcat photos Jim. Keep them coming!

  4. John Wall says:

    Indeed a handsome bobcat. Very nice image. Must be quite a challenge to manage a national park that has to accommodate dairy farmers and oyster growers.

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