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Friday, September 06, 2019

Elk struck on Interstate 40
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says an elk which was struck on Interstate 40 in Cocke County on Thursday came from a restoration herd in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At about 11:30 am, the agency received a call regarding the injured elk off the eastbound side of the interstate near the Tennessee/North Carolina state line. Upon arrival agents found the elk lying by the Pigeon River about 75 yards down a bluff from the interstate. Both of the elk’s back legs were broken when it was struck by a vehicle and so the decision was made to euthanize the animal. Nick Melton, a US Biological Technician for The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, assisted with the elk, collecting hair and blood samples from the carcass. He also used a tag reader to find that the elk had a tag in his neck. He was bull number 297, caught as a calf(2 days old) and tagged in the Cataloochee fields, as part of an elk restoration effort in the park. The bull was two years old. The head of the elk was collected by TWRA for biologists to test the brain stem for possible diseases. The meat from the elk was given to a family for food. TWRA spokesman Matthew Cameron said the vast majority of Tennessee‘s elk herd is in the elk restoration zone of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. There are around 400 elk in that Area. "Our website has extensive information about our elk restoration efforts, as well as a live elk camera where viewers can watch elk live on the Hatfield Knob area of NCWMA," Cameron said. https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/mammals/large/elk.html

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