All about Elks

by Rebecca on May 19, 2010

in Animal Pictures

Elk are also called wapiti, a Native American word that means “light-colored deer.” Elk are related to deer but are much larger; second only to moose. During the late summer breeding season the bugling of bull elk echoes through the mountains. These powerful animals strip the velvet off their new antlers using them in violent clashes that determine who gets to mate with whom. Males with the bigger antlers, typically older animals, usually win these battles and dominate small herds. In the subsequent early summer, elk migrate to high mountain grazing grounds where the cows (females) will give birth. Each cow typically has a single calf, which can stand by the time it is 20 minutes old. While grazing one elk always remains on guard listening for any strange sounds, etc. A bull elk weighs up to 700 pounds while females average around 525 pounds. Adult elk stand about 5 feet tall and are 7 to 10 feet long. An average set of antlers weigh 30 pounds and are usually shed in March or April. They start to re-grow their antlers in May and the antlers stop growing around August. Elk eat grasses, bark, leaves, acorns and buds from trees and shrubs.

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