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 Saving Wildlife Together - Saving the Elk


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Saving Wildlife Together - Eye Help Animals helps to save the Elk

Also known as wapiti which is a Native American word meaning “light-colored deer”, elk are related to deer but are much larger. Elk live primarily in western North America in the mountainous regions of Wyoming’s National Elk Refuge and Yellowstone National Park. In early summer elk migrate to high mountain grazing grounds where the females give birth to a single calf which stands almost immediately after birth. Each March the bull elk lose their antlers but grow them back in May in preparation for breeding season. The antlers are used during violent clashes when males are fighting for mates. The males with bigger antlers usually win and dominate small herds. Elk live only 8-12 years in the wild. During the summer they eat almost constantly, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark. In the fall the elk grow a thicker coat of hair which helps insulate them during winter months. By summer, the heavy winter coat has been shed. Elk will often rub against trees to help them remove hair from their bodies. Elk are considered stable in all regions of the US where they are found. Although the number of elk in the US will never return to the historic numbers in the past, there are far more elk in the US today than any other time in the last 100 years.

Elk - Fast Facts

Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Average lifespan in the wild: 8-12 years
Size: Adult Height, 4 - 5.5 ft (1.2 - 1.7 m)
Weight: 70 to 132 lbs (32 to 60 kg)
Group name: Herd
Status: STABLE

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