Arizona Elk Died In West Virginia While Awaiting Release

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 10:57am
Updated: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 6:13pm
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George Andrejko/AZGFD
Arizona's elk are descendants of ones that once roamed Yellowstone.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says several elk transported to West Virginia in March to join the state's herd died before they could be released.

Justice's office says 50 elk captured in Arizona are awaiting final testing results required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A release from the governor says three elk died of stress from summer heat and prolonged confinement and the testing procedure. Two of the three were pregnant. Three other recently born calves also died while awaiting release.

Justice's office said he has contacted the White House and representatives of the Agriculture Department to ask for help in protecting the elk, which are being held in a 5 acre holding pen in Logan County.

Justice said wild elk like the ones caught in Arizona are more susceptible to stress.

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