Southwest Virginia’s elk herd is doing well and attracting visitors who want to see the animals.
The state has brought elk from Kentucky to a reclaimed strip mine in Buchanan County as part of a pilot project aimed at returning the animals to Virginia.
Leon Boyd with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s local chapter says 10 calves were born this year. That brings the herd’s total to 44 elk.
Boyd tells the Bristol Herald Courier that the herd has a 100 percent survival rate.
He says hundreds of people have come to see the elk since mating season began around Sept. 1.
The elk are the Rocky Mountain version of a native species that was last seen in Virginia around the time of the Civil War.