Wildlife-Wapiti (Elk)












The name "elk" derives from the German term elch, referring to the European moose. Hence, this animal is more commonly called Wapiti ("white rump" in Shawnee). It stands some 52-57 inches at the shoulder. Females weigh approximately 450 lbs, males 700 lbs. Both are a reddish-brown color with a distinctive, cream-colored patch on their rumps. Their heads, necks and legs are generally darker. A mature bull Wapiti's antlers are large and majestic, sweeping backwards and upwards with 5-7 "points" projecting from each main beam; cows have no antlers. Usually one calf is born in late May or early June, and matures in 18 months. The Wapiti lives about 20 years.