Elk Herd To Be Trimmed, Studied For Wasting Disease
About 40 elk at Wind Cave National Park were recently fitted with radio collars so researchers can track their location for several years as they study the effects of chronic wasting disease.
Volunteers and staff at the park plan to shoot and kill up to 300 elk in the next several months to bring the population down to about 250.
U.S. Geological Survey wildlife biologist Glen Sargeant tells the Rapid City Journal that trimming the herd and tracking the remaining elk will help researchers understand the role that the high population of elk has in transmission of the disease that causes an animal to waste away and die.
The 53-square-mile park is about 50 miles from Rapid City in the southern Black Hills.