CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will receive more elk as part of its restoration efforts, getting animals from a Kentucky site for the second time.

Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reached an agreement to acquire 17 elk from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Forest Service also were involved in the deal.

“As a lifelong sportsman, I am proud to work with our state and federal partners to make elk restoration in West Virginia a success story,” Justice said in a statement. “This is great news for all West Virginians as we continue to restore this magnificent native species to our state.”

Twenty-four elk were captured from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in 2016. Those animals were transported to the Tomblin Wildlife Management area.

The new elk are expected to arrive in mid-February and be released before the arrival of 70 elk from Arizona.

According to Division of Natural Resources Elk Project Leader Randy Kelley, the state’s herd should be 100 animals by this summer.

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