The territory of the “Elk Island” was first recorded in 1406 ; 160 years later Ivan the Terrible would hunt for bear in the area. The first idea of turning these lands into a national park appeared in 1912, but it was only properly done only in 1983. Thus, the “Elk island” is one of Russia’s first national parks.
Moscow is known as the greenest capital of Europe and indeed, this incredible park, partly located on the territory of the city has over 100 km2 of forest!
It is home to over 280 types of animals, 160 types of birds, 38 types of mammals and 15 types of fish.
They have 70 elk, 300 dappled deer, 200 wild boar and 300 hares as well as foxes, American mink, squirrels etc.
Elks have obviously given the name to the island. A grown male elk can reach over 2 m in height and can weigh over 600 kg! His horns can weigh up to 30 kg. Imagine carrying that on your head!
Female elks are smaller and the don’t have horns.
The Elk is a proud, lonely animal, they don’t live in herds, so its impossible to see many of them at a time.
At the moment, they have a female elk with 2 baby elks close to the Bio station.
The other frequent visitor to the station is the dappled deer. They, on the contrary, come in groups. In summer they are red and orange with white spots and in winter their colours are much pale. Unfortunately, less than 3000 dappled deer now live in the wild nature, so this species is classified as “endangered” (category I).
Many animals in the park wear transmitter collars. It doesn’t harm the animals but allows scientists to study them and help them if the animal is in trouble.
The next part of the tour is an Eco-walk. The territory of the park in this area consists of swamps and we will walk for nearly 2 km over wooded bridges learning about the park, its flora and other inhabitants.
1 h with the animals (feeding and petting them)
You will be given some animal food at the Bio station, but if you bring some extra carrots and apples the animals won’t say “no” 😉
1h long “Eco-walk”
30 min – drinking tea and getting warm at the Bio station
It is recommend to bring some snacks or packed lunch because as the Park is in “protected” territory they can’t get permission to sell food.
Costs: 4850 rub for adults ; 3850 rub for children under 14 years old