Virginia Elk Herd Slowly Growing

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Five years after being reintroduced onto their native Virginia historic range, elk are slowly thriving in the Old Dominion State.

“We are allowing nature to do its thing now, they will reproduce on their own,” David Kalb, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) project leader, told the Roanoke Times. “It’s just a rather slow process. Right now we are seeing good recruitment numbers and we are seeing excellent health in the animals that we have.”

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided both funding and volunteer manpower as it worked with the DGIF and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to relocate Kentucky elk onto reclaimed mine land in Buchanan County in the western part of Virginia. The first reintroduction effort began in 2012 and the last was in 2014. Today, there are approximately 200 elk in the state.

RMEF also assisted with nearly successful reintroductions in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

(Photo source: Mike Stiltner)