Yellowstone baby boom: elk calf born outside Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Newborn elk calf at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone (Photo by Beth Pratt)Spring brings spectacular wildlife watching opportunities in Yellowstone—especially since animals are giving birth to adorable offspring throughout the park.

Today, guests at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel witnessed the birth of an elk calf on the property’s grounds. Some onlookers continued to watch the calf and its mother for hours, and many clapped when the newborn took its first steps. As a protection against predators, elk calves can walk an hour after being born.

Just a few miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, people continue to gather in Swan Lake Flat to view a grizzly bear and her four cubs as they wander in the open meadows and hillsides. Most grizzly bears give birth to 1-2 cubs, with an occasional set of triplets occurring, but a grizzly with four cubs is a rarity. The runt of the litter has been spotted frequently hitching a ride on his mother’s back.

And yesterday afternoon a herd of bighorn sheep delighted visitors in the Gardner Canyon by frolicking with their baby lambs on cliffs near the roadside. One curious lamb seemed to pose for the photographers as it stood upright on a rocky ledge. Within two weeks of their birth, bighorn lambs are able to run with adults to escape danger.

For guided wildlife watching trips in Yellowstone, contact Yellowstone National Park Lodges or the non-profit Yellowstone Association.

View an assortment of “baby” portraits of some of Yellowstone’s wildlife below.