West Virginiaâ€™s wildlife officials arenâ€™t especially happy to have elk roaming the stateâ€™s southern mountains, but theyâ€™ll manage the animals anyway.
Curtis Taylor, the Division of Natural Resourcesâ€™ wildlife chief, said DNR biologists will gather soon to decide how best to manage any elk that currently reside within the stateâ€™s borders.
Those would include the mysterious Logan County herd that materialized, seemingly from thin air, in December 2006 between Man and Logan. Those animals were last seen in the Blair Mountain area and appear to be keeping a low profile. Individual elk have been spotted in Mingo and Wayne counties.
â€œEven if we donâ€™t already have elk here, weâ€™re going to get them as the population in eastern Kentucky increases and those animals spread out,â€ Taylor said.
Kentucky now boasts a population of more than 6,000 elk, the result of an aggressive stocking program begun in 1997. Most of Kentuckyâ€™s elk live in counties adjacent to West Virginia.
â€œTheyâ€™ll eventually move here, and weâ€™re going to have to be ready to manage them when they do,â€ Taylor said.