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Elk restoration plan calls for release of 150 animals

By AP/St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, MO –

UPDATE: The plan to release 150 elk into three southern Missouri counties next year was approved on Oct. 15.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has tentative plans to release 150 elk into three southern Missouri counties next year in an effort to restore the state's elk population.

Elk were native to Missouri, but were killed off in the wild by hunting and habitat destruction.

Under the restoration proposal, the department would bring in elk from other states and release them in an area of about 350 square miles. The animals would be screened for diseases and wear radio collars to track their movements.

The Department of Conservation will consider the plan at an October 15th meeting. Officials said they received more than 2300 comments about the plan in 2.5 months, with about 80 percent supporting restoration.

Read the restoration plan here

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