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West Virginia's elk herd could top 100 by summer

West Virginia officials said the state's elk herd could rise to more than 100 by early summer after this year's calves are born. (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia officials said the state's elk herd could rise to more than 100 by early summer, after this year's calves are born.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that so far this year, the Division of Natural Resources has imported 51 elk from Arizona and 15 from Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes Elk and Bison Prairie. One of the Arizona animals has since died.

The Kentucky elk were released shortly after arriving. The remaining Arizona elk are being held in quarantine at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan and Mingo counties. When they're released, West Virginia's fledgling elk herd will total 87 animals.

Randy Kelley, the DNR's elk project leader, said 53 of the 87 are females, and many of them should deliver calves sometime around the first of June.

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