The elk brought to Missouri early last month as part of a restoration project have been released from their holding pen.
The Missouri Department of Conservation released the 34 elk along with five newborn calves on Wednesday.
The adult elk and calves have been fitted with GPS radio collars as part of a cooperative research project with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The collars will help researchers track the elk's health, movement patterns and preferred types of vegetation.
You can also see photos of the elk and find out more about the reintroduction above. And, for more information about the elk restoration efforts prior to their arrival in Missouri, see the video below the story text.
Starting tomorrow*, elk will be back in Missouri. They haven’t been here since the mid-1800s, when hunting and habitat loss drove eastern elk to extinction.
States from Arkansas to Pennsylvania have since reestablished their elk populations. And now Missouri is trying to do the same.
But not everyone is happy about the state’s elk reintroduction plans.