A report released on Friday by the Missouri auditor's office says the state continued to overspend on its elk restoration project, even after a 2011 audit found it was way over budget.
The current audit found the Missouri Department of Conservation spent close to $3.4 million to bring 129 elk into the state. Only an estimated 115 elk have survived.
But conservation department Deputy Director Tom Ripperger says those figures are misleading.
A Missouri House interim committee heard testimony Monday on whether Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, poses a grave threat to the state's white tail deer and elk populations.
Lawmakers in Missouri will continue working on several issues this summer and fall in preparation for next year's legislative session.
A total of 40 additional elk have arrived at Peck Ranch in southeastern Missouri, including a male calf born en route from Kentucky.
Efforts to reestablish an elk population in southeastern Missouri are now in their third year, and the Missouri Department of Conservation considers the project a success.
There are close to 70 elk now living in parts of Carter, Shannon and Reynolds counties, with another 50 arriving in May.
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