JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Officials say stress, heat and drought appear to have contributed to the deaths of several elk recently relocated to Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Conservation says the July deaths include six cow elk, one yearling bull and three calves. The dead elk were among a herd relocated this year from Kentucky to Missouri's elk restoration zone in Carter, Shannon and Reynolds counties.
The department says one elk cow and her calf from a 2011 restoration group also died in June.
The department is waiting for tests results to pinpoint the causes of death. But it said in a release Friday that stress from relocation, combined with extreme heat and drought appear to have contributed.
The state authorized the re-introduction of up to 150 elk over several years in southeast Missouri.