Some of the Animals you'll see at the Game Farm...
ELK, WAPITI (Cervus elaphus)
There are 23 subspecies of elk (or Red deer), many of which are European or Asiatic in their distribution. The North American form, with which we are concerned, has six subspecies that range in size from the dwarfed elk of San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys in California, the Tule elk, to the giants of the northwest, the Roosevelt elk. The elk at the Olympic Game Farm are of the latter subspecies, the Roosevelt elk.
The North American elk is a huge animal that may top the scales at 1,800 pounds, but in it's smaller forms may weigh as little as 500 pounds.
ZEBRA (Equus burchelli)
Herbivorous hoofed African mammal of the genus Equus, which also includes the horse and the ass. It is distinguished by its striking pattern of black or dark brown stripes alternating with white. In size and body form it is intermediate between the larger horse and the smaller ass. It has a heavy head, stout body, short, stiff mane, and tufted tail. There are three living zebra species; a fourth species, the quagga , became extinct in the late 19th cent. Most zebras inhabit open plains or brush country, while mountain zebras favor rocky hillsides. Zebra herds on the Serengeti of E Africa can be as large as 200,000 individuals, but all are organized in family groups led by a stallion. The plains zebras usually mix with other grazing animals, such as wildebeest and antelopes. They are swift runners, achieving speeds of up to 40 mph.The plains zebra is found throughout Africa S of the Sahara. It stands about 4 ft (120 cm) tall at the shoulder and has small ears. It has very broad stripes, which vary greatly in their pattern among the several races of the species, as well as among individuals of the same race.
BLACK-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (Cynomys lodovicianus)
These are diurnal (active during the day) rodents that range in size from about 12-1/2 inches to 18 inches in length including the tail, and a body weight that ranges between 1-1/2 to just over 3 pounds. The guard hair of the prairie dog is agouti (banded with light and dark colors), with the coat having a gray or reddish cast. The belly is lighter, shading to white in some places. The tail has a black tip.
These animals live in social groups called coteries. A collection of coteries is referred to as a prairie dog town, and may cover as much as 160 acres. The interconnected burrows of a prairie dog town give the animals a place of refuge and a place to rear their young. The entrance to the burrows is surrounded by a characteristic crater-like mound of dirt.
The llama is a medium sized animal that can tip the scales at 500 pounds and have a length of more than 6 feet. They have a great variety of coat colors.
The llama is grazer, living on the native grasses of its habitat. Where they are kept as pets and in zoos, care must be taken to not feed them too richly.
This animal is a close relative of the Aurochs, the extinct wild cattle of Europe and Asia that was the ancestor of domesticated cattle. The domestic yak is much smaller than its wild ancestors. It is thought to have first been domesticated around 1000 B.C. The coat color can be white, black, brown, yellow, gray, reddish or piebald (Pinto). Because the yak makes grunting sounds, it is referred to as the grunting ox.
It easily carries loads of over 300 pounds on the steepest mountain trails, and in its homelands is also used as a mount. Each animal yields about 7 pounds of coarse wool per year, and the milk, though low in quantity, is quite rich, containing up to 8% butterfat, twice that of a dairy cow! When crossed with domestic cattle, the hybrid offspring is called a Dzo.
AMERICAN BISON (Bison bison)
The bull of this species may attain a body length of 9 feet, a height of over 5 feet at the shoulder and a weight of 2,500 pounds.
During the winter, the herds of buffalo (bison) migrated south as the prairie grasses became sparse. They reversed the direction of their migration in the spring as teh new grasses sprouted. Some of these movements covered as much as 600 miles.
Occasionally, domestic cattle do cross, but the offspring are generally sterile.
EUROPEAN FALLOW DEER (Dama dama dama)
This is a medium sized member of the deer family. The male has strongly palmated antlers (as in the moose) that have a prominent brow tine. Since they have been bred by man in European game parks for more than 1,000 years, there are several color phases that have resulted from selective breeding. The color of the wild deer is a strong reddish-mohogany with white spots. Besides that color, there are animals that are black, white, reddish and porcelain (a pale reddish with white spots).
Unlike other members of the deer family, they have very good eyesight and are able to see motionless objects. Generally, Fallow deer live in large herds, which consist of does and their fawns. The adult males live in groups of their own.
BENGAL TIGER (Panthera tigris)
The Bengal is a smaller (not much), more brightly and clearly marked version of the Siberian. There are some individuals of this subspecies in which the background color is white instead of the more typical red-gold of the Bengal tigers here at Olympic Game Farm. The eyes of those tigers are blue, but can turn yellowish when the animal is excited and the pupils are opened very large.
The food animals of the Bengal tiger include: the axis deer, calves and cows of such wild cattle as the guar, sambar, barasingha, nilgai, Malayan tapir and, rarely, elephant and rhinoceros. Some of the smaller animals they encounter are porcupines, rodents, crocodiles, turtles, crustaceans, frogs and all sorts of domesticated animals.
AFRICAN LION (Panthera leo)
While not quite as large as the largest of the tigers, the lion, second largest of the big cats, is a truly impressive animal. Unlike all of the others of the family Felidae, the lion exhibits considerable sexual dimorphism (physical differences in the appearance between the male and the female) in that the male has a mane. In some subspecies, it is quite scruffy, but in others it is quite magnificent. The purpose of the mane appears to be that of protecting the males’ head, neck and shoulders in the fights between males that occur in the competition for receptive females.
The lion may be as long as 8 feet in body, plus another 3 feet of tail. They can stand more than 3 feet at the shoulders and weigh up to 450 pounds. Although all of the big cats have the vocal mechanism for roaring, this behavior is best developed and most frequently used by the male lions. It has been observed that, under favorable conditions, the lion’s roar can be heard as far away as 6 miles! No one really knows why a lion roars, but some feel that the lion is expressing a feeling of satisfaction when he does so.
COUGAR, MOUNTAIN LION, PUMA, PANTHER (Puma concolor)
The cougar is the largest small cat (Felini) in the world. It has about the same body size as the leopard, ranging on up to 7-1/2 feet including the tail. Unlike most small cats, the cougar has eyes with brownish irises and round pupils. The pelage varies from a deep reddish to a light sandy color. The young are born with black spots, but they fade as the adult coat comes in, except that the tail tip remains black, and a spot of black over each eye is retained. Throughout the life of the cougar the back side of the ears is a gray color with a lighter spot on each.
Cougars hold very large territories; the territory of the male may encompass those of several females. Cougars may migrate with their prey animals, as when deer seek lower altitudes during the winter. Males mark their territories with scratch marks on trees and with feces and urine. Females mark only with the products of elimination which are left on raised prominent spots. The female’s territory is the largest when she is hunting with her young.
CANADIAN LYNX (Lynx canadensis)
The lynx is a medium sized cat with a short tail (6-1/2 inches) and long legs. It stands from about 17 to 29 inches high at the shoulder and ranges in length from about 33 to 48 inches overall. The head has a cheek beard, and the long tapered ears have tufts up to 10-1/2 inches long. The tip of the tail is black. The feet are unusually large for a felid and have a thick fur padding on their edges as well as long hair that grows between the toes and the balls of the soles (snowshoe). There is a great deal of variation in the coloration of the lynx, but in general, they are light sandy color shading to a light or white belly and the insides of the legs. The back side of the ears is black with the typical felid "false eyes." Some individuals are spotted, some not, and this seems to be associated with the geographical locations of the various populations.
Prey includes mammals from the size of a mouse to that of a deer, but birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and even large insects are included in the menu.
BOBCAT, WILDCAT (Lynx rufus)
The bobcat is generally a smaller animal than the lynx, attaining only about 74% of that animal’s size. Instead of the black tail tip as in the lynx, close observation will show that the very end of the tail is white (pick the tail up when the bobcat presents its tail in greeting, and it will be noted that the white from the underside extends to the very tip). It will also be noted that the bobcat has relatively small feet as compared to those of the lynx.
Jack rabbits and cottontails make up about 2/3 of the bobcat’s food, but they also eat any rodents they can catch, as well as the occasional deer. They will not refuse bats or, when the opportunity presents itself, domesticated animals in the form of dogs, cats, sheep, goats and poultry. Reptiles and invertebrates, as well as plants, make up less than 2% of the diet.
COYOTE (Canis latrans)
Coyotes are medium sized animals that range up to 4 feet measured from the nose to the tail tip. Typically, they weigh between 20 and 50 pounds, but have been known to exceed that weight somewhat.
Coyotes can and do hybridize with domesticated dogs, producing fertile offspring without the intervention of man. They are referred to as "Coydogs" and can produce 2 litters per year against the 1 litter that coyotes produce. These animals are more dangerous to man’s enterprises than coyotes. They take not only wild food, but are extremely dangerous to livestock.
WOLVES (Canis lupis)
Full grown wolves may measure up to 6-1/2 feet from the nose to the tip of the tail and weigh up to 175 pounds in the far north. They range in color from black to white, but the typical animal will be gray with lighter underparts and legs. Some sort of face mask on all but the white and black individuals is typical.
Wolves are coursers, running game until it tires and turns to make a stand. Then while some members of the pack distract the prey (large game animal), other individuals dash in to attack some vital spots (cutting hamstrings or ripping open the abdominal cavity). Thus weakened, the animal drops and is overwhelmed by the entire pack. It has been said that such hunts on large animals are successful only in about 1 out of 200 tries! So, between successful hunts, wolves must depend on lesser game and plant food stuffs. They do not disdain rabbits and hares, voles or lemmings or even birds, but they also eat berries and various plants in season. In the southern part of their range, snakes and lizards are eaten with relish.
BLACK BEAR, CINNAMON BEAR, GLACIER BEAR (Ursus americanus)
The black bear is a medium sized animal that ranges in size up to 6 feet in length and 350 pounds in weight. The most frequent color of this species is black as the name suggests; however, there are several color phases found among the subspecies. The cinnamon coloring is found among most populations, but there is a cinnamon colored subspecies that occurs in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. On Gribble Island in British Columbia, Canada, there is a subspecies of the black bear that is white! In addition to reddish and a white black bear, there are also blue ones! The so-called glacier or blue bear of southern Alaska has a salt and pepper pelage that is referred to as a blue roan.
As adults, the animals have sharp, recurved claws and are quite able to climb trees (something that adult brown bears can not do). This ability is an advantage for them in feeding on the fall acorn crop. They do not have to wait until the nuts fall to the ground to eat them.
KODIAK BEAR, ALASKA BROWN BEAR
(Ursus arctos middendorffi)
Over 9 feet in length and weighing up to 1,800 pounds, this is the largest of all the brown bears. It is also the largest of the world’s terrestrial carnivores.
The food of this bear is primarily vegetation, but they will not ignore as food the insects and mammals they uncover as they forage for plant food. During the salmon runs the animal becomes completely carnivorous, switching from a diet almost exclusively vegetation to one that consists entirely of fish, which this subspecies learns to catch or scavenge for themselves.
Be sure to make your plans to visit the Olympic Game Farm near Sequim, WA. Click here for directions and a map.
(Olympic Game Farm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.)