BEAL CITY, Mich. — A wild bull elk is roaming around some mid-Michigan counties and the state Department of Natural Resources wants to keep tabs on it.
The large herbivore has wandered about 100 miles south from its home range in the northeast Lower Peninsula, the state said Thursday.
“We first started receiving reports of a bull elk in Ogemaw County, and then Gladwin County and most recently near Beal City and the Herrick area in Isabella County,” elk specialist Chad Stewart said. “We were able to confirm the locations and also that it does appear to be a wild elk.”
Michigan has about 1,300 elk, with the vast majority located in the Pigeon River Country State Forest, east of Vanderbilt.
A full-grown adult bull elk stands about five feet at the shoulders and weighs about 700 pounds. Elk eat grasses, twigs, acorns and apples.
“Typically, a stray wild animal like this will make his way back to where the rest of the herd is found, and actually where the females are,” Stewart said. “It may take several weeks to months for this to happen, so we appreciate any information on this elk and its whereabouts.”
Regulated hunting has been used since 1984 to manage Michigan’s wild elk population. It’s illegal to hunt a wild elk outside the elk range.