Elk Return to Mo. for First Time Since Civil War
WINONA, Mo. (AP) -- Elk have returned to Missouri for the first time since the Civil War amid opposition from farmers and others concerned about their impact. The elk arrived Thursday in Missouri after spending three months quarantined in Kentucky.
Missouri Department of Conservation spokesman Joe Jerek says the 34 elk are being kept temporarily in a holding area at the Peck Ranch Conservation Area, which is part of an elk restoration zone in southeastern Missouri. Critics have raised concerns about the elks causing crop damage and spreading disease to livestock.
A University of Missouri-Columbia anthropologist also says evidence shows the animals originally lived in northwest Missouri and that putting elk in a location where they didn't previously live could have negative consequences. But conservation officials say they also lived in southern Missouri.