There are approximately 80 wild, free-ranging elk roaming reclaimed surface coal mine land in the most western portions of West Virginia. For those who see their first elk, it is an experience to remember.
“When somebody hears one bugle for the first time I like to tell them ‘Welcome to West Virginia elk country’ because that’s exactly what it has become,” Randy Kelley, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources wildlife biologist and elk project leader, told WOWK-TV. “The word that’s commonly associated with them is majestic. They hold their heads high, they’re proud and they kind of prance more than run.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided funding and volunteer manpower to assist with the successful restoration of elk to their historic West Virginia range in 2016 and an additional transfer of elk from Arizona in 2018.
Go here to watch a WOWK-TV news report about elk.
(Photo source: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources)