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Any of several species of large deer in the genus Cervus, notably the red deer of Europe, the Kashmir stag, and the Himalayan shou, as well as the North American deer more correctly called wapiti. The creature called elk in Europe is a member of the species (Alces alces) known in North America as moose. The name is also applied to the extinct Irish elk.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on elk, visit Britannica.com.