Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Introduction of elk to Kentucky, 1997

Posted on December 19, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

A group of five elk — three cows and two bull calves — adjusted to their surroundings after being released on Dec. 18, 1997, in the Cyprus-Amax Wildlife Management Area, next to Robinson Forest in Perry County. A total of seven elk were released, marking the the beginning of Kentucky’s elk-restoration program. It was the first time in 150 years that free-ranging elk were present in the state. The elk population today is about 11,000. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

Daniel Yoder, Becky Moyer, 10, middle, and Melody Musser, 9, watched the release of seven elk on Dec. 18, 1997, at the Cyprus-Amax Wildlife Management Area in Perry County. They were with the Valley View Mennonite School in Lebrun, in Knott County. In Colonial times, this largest member of the deer family was plentiful east of the Mississippi River, from Louisiana to New York. But like those of white-tailed deer, wild turkey and other species, elk numbers dwindled to near extinction because of habitat destruction, unregulated hunting and human disturbances. Elk disappeared from Kentucky in the 1840s. The elk restoration program stocked a 14-county area in Eastern Kentucky. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

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