Wild Elk Back in Missouri
Elk captured in Kentucky have now been relocated to Missouri. The elk spent 3 months in isolation to make sure they were strong and healthy before transportation. Missouri has not had wild elk in their state in over a century and a half. The new herd consists of 28 cows and fawns, and 6 bulls, and were soft-released into their new home, 23,000 acres at Peck Ranch Conservation Area. Soft-release is the method by which the pen gates are opened at night so that the elk can "escape" at their own time and on their own terms.
The entire herd is monitored with tracking devices. Missouri Department of Conservation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) have been working on this project of restoring the elk for the past 30 years. RMEF helped with the funding and information on elk seeding to grow an elk herd in Missouri, also funding the tracking devices on the elk. Peck Ranch will be closed to the public for the first couple months to help the elk acclimate to their home, hoping to open to the public in August, from AllVoices.com.