Cervidae (deer family) Hoofed with antlers, which are shed each year. Same family as moose and caribou. Chew cud.
The native subspecies, Eastern elk, were indigenous to this area. The Rocky Mountain subspecies was introduced to Wind Cave National Park in 1914.
August-October. Bulls establish harem of 15-20 cows, sometimes up to 30 or as few as one.
May-June. Calves are able to walk shortly after birth. Cows stay away from herd for 2-3 weeks until calf is able to travel.
14 years, up to 25 years
Semi-open forest, mountain meadows, foothills, plains, valleys. Once the most widely distributed members of the deer family in North America spread form the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Mexico to northern Alberta. Began to disappear in the east in the early 1800s.