American Elk

  • Scientific name: Cervus canadensis
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Cervidae
  • Genus: Cervus
  • Species: C. canadensis
American Elk

Fun Facts

  • Elk are members of the deer family, which also include moose and caribou.
  • Only the bull elk grows antlers. They are grown each year and shed, usually in late winter. Elk antlers can weigh 40 pounds for the pair.
  • Elk feed primarily on grasses and woody plants.
  • Elk are preyed upon by man, mountain lions (cougars), bears, wolves, and coyotes.
  • There are about 1 million elk living in the United States.
  • Elk are farmed in the United States for meat, and for the velvet that their antlers produce. The velvet is a primary ingredient for holistic medicines.
  • Elk live 8 to 12 years.
  • Elk can weigh from 500 pounds (cow) to 700 pounds (bull).