Elk Population Booming In Eastern Kentucky

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The elk is back in eastern Kentucky.

After disappearing for more than a century, the elk population in the eastern portion of the state is booming thanks to an aggressive restoration plan that was worked better than state wildlife officials could have hoped.

There are about 65-hundred elk in the state, the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River. The plan is to increase the herd to 10-thousand in the next five years.

Mild winters, a lack of predators and abundant food have fed the population's resurgence. In fact, elk in the state are 15 percent larger on average than elk found in western states according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Web site.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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