Missouri’s elk population appears to be settling into their new home state, according to state conservation officials.
Dr. Joseph Millspaugh updated the Missouri Conservation Commission Friday on the state’s elk herd, which he said seems to be doing well.
“Evidence of survival rates [and] reproductive rates that are average to high, we see diet quality certainly within the range of what we would expect…the stress response: nothing there that is indicative of a problem,” said Millspaugh.
Thirty-four elk were imported from Kentucky in May of last year. The heard lives within a small preserve in rural southeastern Missouri, and each animal has a radio collar so it can be tracked. The program has faced criticism from farm interests, who’ve expressed concern about potential crop damage and auto accidents.