Whidbey Island lies on the northern end of Puget Sound, and is about 30 miles north of Seattle. About 80,000 people live there, and there’s a naval air station out there as well. Until today, that was all I could tell you about Whidbey. I’ve never been there, although I’ve always wanted to check it out. And now I want to see it even more, because I’ve just learned about Bruiser.
Bruiser swam to the island in the fall of 2012, and has been hanging out there ever since. He’s the only one of his kind on the island. He rules over an elk kingdom of one. As a matter of fact, he could very well live longer than the average elk, since he doesn’t have to fight with other males.
Food is abundant for Bruiser, and he seems to spend the bulk of his time hanging out in the nature preserve on the north end of the island. He has no natural predators to disturb him. His only real worry is the possibility of being hit by a car.
Well, that and getting tangled up in stuff. Apparently that happens a lot. When Bruiser’s antlers are about to be shed, he likes to rub them on things. According to this article, he’s had at least two bicycles stuck in his antlers, as well as barbed wire, lawn ornaments, a horse blanket, and most recently, a blue plastic tarp. Mostly, the wildlife officers let him figure it out on his own, since tranquilizing him is not the healthiest option. But sometimes they have to intervene.
A lot of people seem to feel sorry for Bruiser. They think he’s lonely. They think he needs a mate. But really, the only time he needs a mate is during mating season. He’s not a swan. He doesn’t want to mate for life. Male elk usually lead pretty solitary lives.
I think Bruiser has it pretty good, considering. Hey, he’s explored Whidbey Island, which is more than I can say. I’m jealous.
If you’ve ever encountered Bruiser, tell us about it below!
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