Elk are majestic creatures and we're so very lucky to be able to see them in the state of Colorado. Once in a while, there is an animal that stands out above the herd. This animal could have amazing antlers, it could be smaller or larger than the others, or it could be a totally different color.

One of these rare genetic traits was recently spotted by a wildlife biologist in the state of Colorado. A rare piebald cow elk was spotted near Montrose, Colorado, during a big game classification flight with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The big game classification flights are used to put GPS collars on 75 elk calves in the month of December.

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What is a Piebald elk and what makes them so special?

Piebald is a term for an animal with two different colors. Think of a black and white milk cow. Piebald horses or dogs can be quite common. Piebald elk on the other hand are not. Elk are more or less brown all over. So seeing an elk with spots can become quite the spectacle.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife say that the piebald trait in elk occurs in about one in every 100,000 animals. Some might say that those numbers might classify the cow elk in the "uncommon" category, but I certainly feel like it would be a special site to see as most of us have probably never seen an elk with coloring like this.

Take a look at the photos that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southwest Region shared on Twitter.

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southwest Region Twitter

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