HOLDEN, W.Va. – On land where coal was once mined, officials have trumpeted the return of an elk herd to West Virginia for the first time in 141 years.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and officials from the state Division of Natural Resources introduced the public to 24 elk Monday in a wilderness area in southern West Virginia.
Hundreds of people viewed the elk a few hundred yards away in a holding pen where they're getting acclimated. They'll be released later this month.
DNR biologists trapped the elk at Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in November. The elk were quarantined to determine whether they were disease-free, then were transported to Logan County last Thursday.
Officials are touting the elk's potential to help tourism. Elk herds haven't roamed the state since 1875.