Arizona elk heading to West Virginia

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Elk capture conducted east of Flagstaff. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD) Elk capture conducted east of Flagstaff. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD)
Elk to be transported to West Virginia. 26 Jan 2018 (Source: AZGFD) Elk to be transported to West Virginia. 26 Jan 2018 (Source: AZGFD)
Elk captured with a hand-held net gun. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD) Elk captured with a hand-held net gun. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD)
Elk snared with net by helicopter. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD) Elk snared with net by helicopter. 26 Jan. 2018 (Source: AZGFD)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

Arizona wildlife officials say dozens of elk from Arizona will be transported east as part of a partnership to restore the elk population in West Virginia.

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials say roughly 50 cows and 10 bulls, captured east of Flagstaff, will be transported more than 2,000 miles away to Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County, where they will join nearly two dozen elk already on site.

Elk were once native to West Virginia but disappeared more than a century ago.

“We’re pleased to assist the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in its efforts to restore elk to their native range,” said Jim Ammons, commission chairman with the Arizona Game and Fish Dept. “Helping restore wildlife populations is in keeping with the vision of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, using science-based principles to manage wildlife in the public trust.”

This week’s historic conservation project marks only the second time Arizona has provided elk to another state. In 2000, Kentucky’s elk restoration project received a boost with 26 animals that were captured near Raymond Wildlife Area.

“One of the reasons we chose Arizona is because it’s one of the few states that never had a documented case of Chronic Wasting Disease, said Stephen McDaniel, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

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