Elk

(Cervus elaphus)

1200px-Rocky_Mountain_Bull_Elk.jpg

 STATUS: Native, “Least Concern”

DESCRIPTION: One of the largest species within the deer family and one of the largest mammals in North American, they can weigh between 225 and 730 lbs and stand anywhere from 4.3 ft to 5.6 feet at the shoulder.

DIET: Grasses, plants, leaves, and bark.

HABITAT: Forest and forest-edge habitat.

NOTES: Male antlers are shed each year. Males are also known to partake in ritualized mating behaviors including posturing, antler-wrestling ,and bugling to establish dominance over other males and attract females. They are susceptible from various diseases and can transmit them to livestock or vice versa. Their meat is leaner and higher in protein than beef or chicken. It used to be prevalent across North America but is now only found in preserves and the Rocky Mountain Range.

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons