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home : local news : local news July 3, 2020

1/12/2007 12:29:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Like many wild animals raised in captivity, they lose their fear of man but maintain their wild instincts, making them unpredictable and dangerous.
Wandering elk herd getting under control
Owner returns, kills three bulls, woring on capturing cows

Daily News

A small herd of elk that have been roaming loose near Heathsville in the southeastern part of Crawford County are being rounded up.

According to the Crawford County Sheriff's Department, the herd of about eight elk belonging to Robert J. Correll, Flat Rock, have been roaming loose and endangering drivers along Illinois Route 33 south of Heathsville for several months.

The CCSD had been receiving reports since summer that two or three of the animals had been sighted running loose, but recent reports that as many as seven and possibly eight of the animals were loose prompted the department to take action.

One report by a local duck hunter said two of the animals had visited him in his duck blind, and seven of the animals had been seen eating from his feed plot.

Sheriff Todd Liston said he contacted several government agencies about the animals, but was unable to get a clear definition as to whether they were considered livestock or wild animals. Illinois does not have a hunting season on elk. He also said he had been unable to make contact with Correll, who was out of town.

Liston said they would treat the animals as livestock until the owner could be contacted. A bull elk has a value of $2,000 or more, and without permission from the owner, he was reluctant to destroy the animals.

Elk can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds, and are more than twice the size of a white tail deer. They have also been known to charge people if they get too close to the herd. Like many wild animals that are raised in captivity, they lose their fear of man but maintain their wild instincts, making them unpredictable and dangerous.

On Wednesday evening, Correll put down three of the bull elk himself, and believes he can capture the remaining cows.

Once captured, and with bulls gone, he told the sheriff's department he believes the cows will stay in captivity.

Correll had been raising the animals as livestock, but a recent fear of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk caused a big drop in the elk meat market.

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