Wildlife officials from Wind Cave National Park are reporting progress in efforts to cull the elk population in the park, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. To date, an estimated 175 elk have been killed. Approximately 525-550 elk were in the park prior to the cull, and officials hope to reduce the number to 230-250 total elk.
This year is the first in which wildlife outside of the park have been prevented from entering the park during the cull. High fences were installed as a deterrent. Officials hope that the final count will be more accurate as a result.
Wildlife scientists hope to reduce the occurrence of Chronic Wasting Disease through culling efforts. Experts will follow the elk herd in coming years to determine if the reduction in population had a positive effect on the rate of the disease.
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