HOLDEN, W.Va. (AP) – A group of elk transported from Arizona to West Virginia in March has been set free from their holding pen.
News outlets report the Division of Natural Resources released 46 elk on Tuesday in Logan County.
The elk had undergone a quarantine mandated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The quarantine ended on June 1 but the elk weren’t set free until the results from the final round of disease testing were known.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice had said three elk died of stress from the summer heat, prolonged confinement, and the testing procedure. Two of the three were pregnant. Three other recently born calves also died while awaiting release.
Justice said wild elk like the ones caught in Arizona are more susceptible to stress.