CHARLESTON,WV (WOAY) -West Virginia’s elk project leader says it appears 10 to 15 elk calves were born between late May and mid-June in the state.
Randy Kelley, elk project leader for the Division of Natural Resources, tells The Herald-Dispatch the exact number isn’t yet known.
DNR officials knew from blood tests that 24 of the cow elk imported this year from Kentucky and Arizona were pregnant. They anticipated at least some of the 12 cows stocked in December 2016 would be pregnant, too. However, stresses of captivity apparently cost some of this year’s imports their calves. Two calves born in captivity also died.
If all pregnant cows had borne the calves they were carrying, West Virginia’s elk herd would have grown to more than 100. Kelley’s new estimate is in the 90s.