Sunday, April 10, 2011

Canadian Tire advert wildlife faux pas?

So, how many of you can notice the potential geographic and wildlife inconsistency in Canadian Tire’s new TV ad?
Ok, I’ll spoil it for you, at 0:27 the animal running through the trees sure doesn't look Canadian or North American – it looks to me like a European Red Deer (Cervus elaphus of one the various subspecies). Agree?

He may be a smaller cousin to the Wapiti (or Elk, Cervus canadensis) but quite different he is. The genus Cervus does have a very broad range: from the UK eastwards, right through Asia and into North America. European Red Deer have also been introduced into New Zealand, Australia and South America. Red Deer have been introduced into North America on some farms but I am unaware if any viable feral populations have established themselves. They do readily hybridize with North American Elk to produce fertile offspring, as has happened with introduced populations of each species in New Zealand, I believe (?).

European Red Deer
Was stock footage of Elk that tough to find, or did someone who doesn't know the difference edit the advert?

While I am being a pedantic, hair-splitting nerd, the widely used term Elk is actually a misnomer. It’s an adaptation from the northern European words Elg or Elch which describe European moose, not Elk, I mean Wapiti, I mean…ah bugger it, you get it. Wapiti by the way is Cree/Shawnee for ‘white rump’ and a good descriptive name for Elk (not Elg though).

Rocky Mountain Elk / Wapiti

Elg (aka moose)
The Albertan city of Red Deer earned its name though misnomer as well. Early Brits confused European Red Deer with Wapiti/Elk and named the settlement after the Cree name for the Red Deer River, Waskasoo Seepee – Wapiti River, I mean Elk River, now Red Deer River. Ok, I am shutting up now, I have to pick up a BBQ at CT :-)

©Brian Joubert

1 comment:

  1. Well I learned one thing new, there is no such ungulate as a European stag. I was incorrectly calling the red deer this. But yeah, I agree, totally not native wildlife. Boo Canadian Tire, hire a better ad agency next time!!