First elk born in West Virginia since reintroduction

LOGAN, W.Va. — The recent birth of an elk calf is the first in West Virginia since elk were reintroduced in December 2016, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The agency confirmed the birth Thursday, saying it has captured footage of the calf passing by a camera set up to monitor a pregnant cow separated from the herd.

Out of the 24 elk brought to West Virginia in 2016, six were pregnant, though two died soon after arriving. Officials believe at least one other cow is currently pregnant.

“For our elk population to be sustainable, there has to be reproduction, and this calf is the first of many to be born here in West Virginia,” Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel said in a statement.

According to Randy Kelly, leader of the elk restoration project, there are no plans to capture or tag the newborn calf until it is older.

“We try not to stress the elk in any way,” he said.

The calf will be tracked by cameras and data collected from its mother’s radio collar and tags.

Legislation in 2015 authorized the elk restoration plan. The Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan and McDowell counties set aside 9,000 acres for elk restoration.





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