Prior to the settlement of Pennsylvania, elk (Cervus elaphus) lived throughout the state. Later, they became extinct here. Today, elk live in Elk, Cameron, Clinton, Clearfield and Potter counties and are the descendants of elk released by the Pennsylvania Game Commission between 1913 and 1926. Nearly a century after elk were restored to Pennsylvania, the herd is estimated to be 950 animals.
Elk have a sharp sense of smell and hearing. They can run 30 mph (48 kph) for short distances and can trot for miles. Elk are grazers, mainly eating a variety of grasses and herbs. Male elk have large antlers made of bone which can grow almost an inch in one day. These are typically shed in the late winter or early spring. In the wild, a cow usually lives 10 years and a bull eight years.