New Arrival on the Grasslands

August 7, 2013

You’ve met our little deer; now meet our big elk! Our Roosevelt elk calf is petite for now, but could eventually tip the scales at 1,000 pounds.

Animals at the zoo come in all shapes and sizes! After the birth of a pudu, the world’s smallest deer species, the zoo welcomes a Roosevelt elk calf, the largest sub-species of elk, born in May. Already sporting a distinctive coat with a dark brown head and pale brown torso, the calf looks like his elders, but has a long way to grow—eventually, he could weigh up to 1,000 pounds! He roams the zoo’s plains with three other Roosevelt elk, including his mother, Olympia.

Roosevelt elk live mostly in the forests of the American Pacific Northwest. WCS’s North America Program is at work to protect the landscapes where these animals travel and provide them with safe passage. By fitting the elk with GPS collars, WCS field staff can track the movements of individual animals. They use this information to identify preferred crossing points across Highway 20 in Idaho, protecting both humans and wildlife from dangerous collisions.