The number of elk that came into Wisconsin from Kentucky started out at 26, fell to 21 with the tick-caused deaths of five elk, and has since climbed back to 25 with the birth of four calves that occurred in the 7-acre holding Jackson County holding pen.
The elk were expected to have been released in June prior to the adult cows giving birth to calves, but the animals were still in the corral as of July 16, according to Kevin Wallenfang, the DNR’s deer and elk ecologist. Wallefang said the agency is still "awaiting some final health testing results” before the animals are turned loose in the Black River State Forest in Jackson County.
“The four calves are all doing very well,” said Wallenfang.
The five elk that died in early May included one adult cow that carried an unborn calf, three female yearlings and one male yearling.