Marshall County Conservation Director Mike Stegman has been receiving reports of a rogue bull elk wandering about the county. The animal’s not normally found in this state. Stegman says for about a week now they’ve been hearing reports of elk sightings around Marshall County, first in the south and working northward. He says the latest reports on Thursday placed the animal near Albion.
The Department of Natural Resources confirmed elk are not native to Iowa, and Stegman says the D-N-R and County Conservation Board have not determined where the animal originated from. It may have escaped from the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge, though Stegman couldn’t say if they’re missing an animal.
Stegman says elk are a protected animal here in Iowa. He chuckles that it’s “just roamin’ free,” and warns anyone who might assume that since there’s no Iowa hunting season for elk that it would be OK to shoot it, think again — he is protected. Stegman says there are no plans to capture and relocate the elk.
If somebody comes forward and claims the animal escaped from a game farm or something, it’ll be up to them to catch it. “As far as the D-N-R is concerned, from my knowledge, there won’t be any attempts made to capture the animal and relocate him.” Stegman’s advice if you confront the elk — enjoy the unusual sight.