mammal-head

American elk

At the Detroit Zoo
Rex (born in 1998) and Alison (born in 1999) came from a farm in Pinconning, Michigan, and have called the Detroit Zoo home since 2000. Whether they're basking in the sun or grazing on grass, the two are usually side by side. If you see a large elk rack in another animal's habitat, it once belonged to Rex, who sheds a yearly gift for other Zoo animals to play with. The American elk can be found next to the prairie dogs in the American Grasslands.

 

Description
Elk range in color from dark brown in winter to tan in summer and have a characteristic buff-colored rump. The head, neck, belly and legs are darker than both the back and sides. Elk generally have a long head with large ears and widely branching antlers found only on males. A dark shaggy mane hangs from the neck to the chest. Most males are 10 percent larger than females and may weigh twice as much.


Scientific name: Cervus elaphus canadensis

Continent: North America
Habitat: Woodland cover and large open areas
Size: 4-5 feet at the shoulder
Weight: 350-700 pounds
Diet: American elk are herbivores; their diet consists of a wide seasonal variety of green and dried grasses, forbs and woody plants.
Reproduction: Gestation 255 days; single offspring
Lifespan: Eight to 12 years in the wild; mid- to late-teens in captivity
Conservation Status:
Least Concern

FUN FACTS


American elk are also known as wapiti, a Native American word meaning "white rump".