During my Spring break trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I was lucky enough to see some of the park’s wildlife up close. The most impressive animals we saw were the elk. While they are a lot like deer in some ways, elk are different. These massive animals have antlers that can grow up to six feet in length.

Aside from their antlers, elk are also known for their size. Male elk, or bulls, can weigh up to 1100 pounds, while females, or cows, typically weigh between 600 and 700 pounds. Their fur is usually a light brown color, with a darker patch on their necks. Elk have a lifespan of around 10 to 13 years.

Elk are mainly found in North America and are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. In the wild, they primarily feed on grass and shrubs, although they will also eat bark and leaves when food is scarce. Overall seeing the elk in their natural habitat was an unforgettable experience.