A recently released cow elk in Wisconsin has been on the move in a big way. While it is not terribly uncommon for elk to traverse a number of miles over an extended period of time, one newly-transplanted cow elk has wasted no time exploring new habitat.
Captured in Kentucky last year, this particular elk was released in Wisconsin’s Black River State Forest a little over a year ago. As part of the state’s plan to reintroduce elk to the state, this cow elk was one of the 150 transplanted animals who now call Wisconsin home.
With a radio collar strapped around her neck, DNR officials are able to track her movements every 13 hours and watched as she moved into Clark County last fall and remained there through the winter months.
Puzzling biologists as to why she continues to wander, she was unknowingly captured on a trail camera roughly 100 miles away from the Black River State Forest. Resident Keith Hanson, who owns a farm close to the Dunn County and Barron County border in the northwestern region of the state was surprised to find the elk on his camera.
Routinely checking his camera for whitetail and black bear activity, the sight of the cow elk on his camera was a surprising yet encouraging event.
In addition to the 150 elk transplanted in the state last year, an additional 28 elk were deposited this spring in the Black River area. They are currently under quarantine until they are officially released into the wild.