We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the State Animal of Utah?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The Rocky Mountain elk gained prominence as the state animal of Utah in 1971. Also called wapiti, a Shawnee Indian word meaning white rump, elk were reintroduced into Utah by conservation groups after their numbers were depleted due to overhunting in the 1800s. Wildlife officials regulate hunting of the state animal of Utah to preserve healthy populations of elk.

Cervus canadensis is the scientific name for the state animal of Utah, which is the second largest member of the deer family. Once plentiful throughout the United States, the Rocky Mountain elk has become limited to west of the Rocky Mountains and parts of Canada. The state animal of Utah lives high in mountain ranges, migrating to lower elevations in the fall to forage.

At maturity, bull elk might weigh more than 700 pounds (317 kilos) and stand 5 feet tall (1.5 meters) at the shoulder. Cows weigh considerably less and do not grow antlers. Bulls shed their antlers during the winter, and new antlers emerge each spring. When the new antlers first appear, they're covered with a velvety substance. Male elk rub against trees to remove the covering once growth is complete.

Rocky Mountain elk prefer a diet of native grasses, but resort to woody shrubs and twigs during winter. They rely upon stores of fat to provide energy when nutritious plants are covered with snow. When heavy snow falls in the upper elevations, the state animal of Utah migrates to lower areas, where the sun melts snow and provides access to food.

One characteristic of these animals includes the many different sounds they use. Cows and calves communicate through a squealing sound, while bulls bark to indicate danger. Males also produce a loud bugling sound during mating season to warn off competing bulls and to announce their presence to cows. Sounds described as chirping and mewing represent communication among the herd.

The mating season is called the rut, marked by males locking antlers to measure the strength of other bulls. Cows produce one calf per year in May or June. They isolate calves for three weeks after birth to protect them from predators. After cows deliver offspring, they eat the afterbirth and any dirt soiled with blood to remove the scent of their young.

In addition to a state animal of Utah, legislators also designed a state cooking pot, state firearm, and state folk dance. Utah’s state flower is the sego lily, and its tree is the blue spruce. The seagull represents the state bird, while Utah’s emblem is the beehive.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.