Originally posted on NC Museum of Natural Sciences Education Blog:
By Karen Swain
Sunday morning we were allowed to sleep in until 6, and after breakfast we hit the road again for the Cataloochee Valley. We bypassed the two bulls grazing near the Ranger station and headed for the first large meadows, where the main herd turned out to be. Across from the herd was a magnificent un-tagged bull lying near a number of grazing cows. What could be going on? Across the road the now dominant bull (#116) was also lying down in the midst of a larger herd and bugling occasionally. When he got up and started walking we noticed that he had a limp. I wondered if the limp had anything to do with the proximity of the other bull, and whether some cows had strayed from the dominant bull’s harem. Although the rut was mainly over, I was surprised to see that he was allowing any cows to get so close to another bull.