Some drivers outside of Bozeman, MT, were delighted to see a massive herd of elk crossing the road - and they managed to get their phones out in time for us to enjoy it too!
Elk herds can be stupendously big, generally with around 200 but sometimes as high as 400 animals in one mass moving in concert through the landscape. It's a stunning achievement of mammalian group-think that makes you wonder: who chooses where to go? Do they elect one pathfinder, or do they all just happen to want to go in the same direction anyway?
In fact, the way that the herd moves is almost hypnotic - the herd is all strung out in a row in a way that recalls waiting at the tracks for a long train to cross. Or, to mix metaphors, watching them all in a row looks a little like an undulating snake. Or, let me offer one more. They look like a giant centipede, with a million tiny little legs moving it along at a nice trot.
Elk herds are often, but not always segregated by gender, with all of the males forming one herd and the females forming another. This herd does not appear to be all one gender or another, as there are clearly males visible, as well as females. Perhaps these folks have captured a gigantic group date in Bozeman, something akin to a singles mixer.
See the full video below, and comment if you've ever seen an elk herd cross the road!