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TWRA elk importation from Land between the Lakes on hold

TWRA elk importation from Land between the Lakes on hold due to fear of disease!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

GOLDEN POND, Ky. — The Land Between the Lake’s Elk & Bison Prairie won’t close Monday-Thursday after all.

The wildlife viewing area was scheduled to be closed to visitors while Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency personnel captured, tagged and inoculated 27 elk for transfer to an eastern Tennessee wildlife management area where the agency is re-establishing an elk population.

TWRA, however, in recent days ran into a federal roadblock — a concern over possible disease transmission — in an effort to import a number of elk from Elk Island National Park in Canada. Then similar concerns apparently have arisen about the planned transfer of the LBL elk to the Tennessee site.

Whatever the prospects of carrying out the LBL-Tennessee transfer later, the project has been put on hold for now by TWRA, an LBL spokesman said.

With the Tennessee move suspended at least for now, the LBL’s elk- and buffalo-inhabited, drive-through prairie will remain open as usual to visitor traffic. Vehicles are allowed daily from dawn to dusk.

LBL workers, meanwhile, will continue their own program to tranquilize and capture resident prairie elk to be tagged for identification and monitoring as now required by Kentucky regulations. The prairie is not scheduled to be closed for that effort.

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