An elk of unknown origin in west central Iowa was shot at the request of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Sunday morning to protect the Iowa deer herd and domestic livestock from the potential impacts of chronic wasting disease and other diseases.
Elk sightings in Iowa are fairly common and when an elk is spotted, the DNR works with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to determine status of elk and the best available options. If the elk can be returned to the proper owners, then they are. If not, they then pose a risk to spreading CWD and/or other diseases and are dispatched.
The bull elk, estimated at 3-4 years old, was killed Sunday morning by a Monona County deputy sheriff as directed by the DNR after it appeared in front of a farmer combining his field. The animal was examined for identification markings without success and was buried according to Iowa livestock burial regulations in Monona County Monday morning. The brain stem and lymph nodes were removed for testing.
While the risk that escapees are introducing CWD or TB to Iowa’s wild deer may be small, the consequence to the resource is enormous and it is a risk that should be avoided.
Removing a wandering elk is the responsibility of the Iowa DNR working in conjunction with the IDALS, and is not allowed by the public.