Elk are in the deer family.


What does an elk look like?
Elk can be pale gray, tan, or brown. They have thin legs and a thick neck.
Male elk are called bulls. They weight over 1000 pounds. Bulls lose their antlers each spring.
Female elk are called cows. They are smaller than bulls. Elk cows usually have two calves. They are born in early summer.
An elk baby is called a calf. It is light brown with white spots.
What do elk eat?

Elk eat plants. They eat grass. They also eat twigs.

Where can I find an elk?
Long ago there were many elk. Then, people killed the elk. Elk are now mainly in the western North America. There are sometimes too many elk.
Elk move in herds. They are in the mountains in summer. They are in the meadows in fall.
Elk can move quietly. They are strong swimmers.
Who are the friends and enemies of an elk?
Wolves and cougars are enemies. Bears and coyotes kill calves.

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Note: All photographs taken with a digital camera in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (May-June 1999) and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (July 1999).

Developed by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 6/99. Updated 4/02.