NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Wildlife officials plan to bring 36 elk from Kentucky into Tennessee next week as a part of a long-term effort to restore the state's population.
The elk will join an estimated 200 to 250 elk in the Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area in Campbell and Scott counties, northwest of Knoxville.
The elk are currently at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Kentucky and will be released on March 8, pending disease testing.
Since 2000, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been bringing back the large, antlered animals, which once roamed wild in the state but were forced out by habitat loss and over-hunting.
Tennessee conservation officials are hoping to have more than 1,400 free-roaming elk in the state by 2016 and have discussed a limited elk hunting season.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)