American Elk

Elk | Aspen & Rosie

American Elk (Cervus canadensis)

On exhibit: The photo is male elk Aspen. He was born at the zoo 8 years ago. His mother Rosie lives with him currently. She is 21 years old.
Rosie came to the Zoo from Rosamond Gifford Zoo in 1993. Aspen was born at the Zoo in 2005.

Diet: Herbivore; grass, shrubs, bark.

Average wild life span: 8-12 years

Shoulder height: 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

Average weight: 500-730 lbs (225-331 kg)

New York State status: Extirpated. There currently are no wild elk in New York. The eastern elk subspecies, now extinct, was once common in Pennsylvania and southern New York State. Our elk on exhibit are from the subspecies of the American Elk called the Roosevelt Elk. This subspecies is origionally from the Pacific Northwest.

For more information about conservation efforts related to the American Elk, visit the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at

The American Elk exhibit at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is sponsored by:

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