Elk of Bancroft


In the late 1800’s the population of elk was destroyed by over-harvesting and destruction of their environment.  In 1996, the Ontario government and partners announced their support, and creation of The Plan for the Restoration of Elk in Ontario.  In January of 2000, the first of two herds of Elk from Elk Island National Park in Alberta were shipped to Bancroft, scheduled to be released back into the wild and re-populate the area. The second release was a year later in Jan 2001, when 50 more were released. Since that time, the once endangered elk’s population has grown and flourished. So much so, that the first elk hunt was allowed in September of 2011.

Elk, Bancroft Ontario
The animals were monitored regularly, to see how the population was coping in their new environment.  This was done so by air, and also by use of radio collar.  You’ll see the collar in the photos below.

Elk are a large animals, bigger than a white-tailed deer, yet smaller then a moose.  They are very social animals, seen most frequently in groups.  If you do see one alone, chances are there is another nearby.  They  communicate on an on-going basis with each other using a series of grunts and squeals, and use a bark-like sound to warn the others of danger.

Elk have also been re-introduced to areas other then Bancroft.  These include Lake of the Woods, Lake Huron North Shore, and Nipissing/French River.


Elk looking right
Elk with collar and ear tag
Large male elk in a field with a forest background