American Elk

Our American Elk, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MA

Where to find the American Elk (besides Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA!)
American Elk Facts
American Elk
Cervus elaphus

Life Span
Wild: 10-13 years
Captivity: 20 years
4-5 feet
Average Weight
Females: 500 lbs
Males: 710 lbs
Group Name
Group Size
Name of Young

Our American Elk, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MAFacts

  • American Elk are the second largest member of the deer family.  The males of one subspecies, called the Roosevelt Elk, may reach the weight of 1300 lbs. The largest member of the deer family is the moose.
  • Males begin growing antlers at around 11 months of age. Their antlers are fully grown when the elk reaches 4-6 years old. The antlers are 5.6 feet across on average and can weigh up to 40 lbs.
  • Newborn elk weigh about 35 lbs at birth, and they are born with spots which fade by the end of the summer. By the time they are 6 months old, they are almost the size of an adult white tailed deer.
  • During the mating season male elk bugle and grunt. Females may respond to their calls with a barking noise. Males will roll in mud during the breeding season to become more attractive to the females.

Did You Know?

Elk are important to many Native American tribes. In Lakota culture the spiritual elk was a symbol of strength and courage. Another name for elk is Wapiti. This word means “White Rump” in the Shawnee language.