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Introduction of Elk into Kentucky
The reintroduction of elk into southeastern Kentucky has been an overwhelming success. Over 1,500 elk were released in Kentucky during 1997- 2002. It started with the release of seven elk at the Cyprus Amax Wildlife Management Area in 1997 and continued through 2002. The elk were released at eight different locations which can be located on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Maps.
Status of Elk HerdNow it is estimated that the herd is over 10,000 animals. The success is due in part to the reclaimed surface mines. Eastern Kentucky is now a mixture of hills, forest and rolling grasslands, an ideal environment for Elk. As explained on a University of Kentucky Website, most of the elk are within the state’s 16-county Elk Restoration Zone. However, elk can be found in surrounding counties and even a few in adjacent states.