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Video of elk roaming southern Wisconsin goes viral

By Jaymes Langrehr, Kyle Pozorski

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    McFARLAND, Wis. (WISC) — Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirmed to News 3 Now on Monday that an elk was spotted wandering the streets of McFarland late Friday night.

The elk was spotted near the Maple Tree restaurant just before 11 p.m. on Friday, with a video posted to Facebook quickly gaining traction over the weekend.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Joshua Spiegel says the elk bull in question originated from a herd in the Black River Falls area in Jackson County, but has been logging a lot of miles across Wisconsin since September, looking for females during the elk breeding season. Spiegel says the DNR has tracked this particular bull as he cut through the center of Wisconsin toward Waupaca, up to the Wausau area, then to the northwest and Taylor County before heading back through Wausau, Shawano, Waupaca, and Wisconsin Rapids.

Spiegel says the bull has recently been seen in Columbia and Rock Counties in addition to other areas in southeastern Dane County.

The DNR is able to confirm this same bull has been wandering the state by identifying him through his ear tag and distinctive antlers. Wildlife biologists are also able to keep track of elk movements with the public’s help.

DNR Wildlife Biologist, Christina Kizewski additionally told News 3 Now that the DNR has actually been tracking the bull for several years. “He’s only a three year old bull but yea he’s probably somewhere between that 500-700 pound range,” said Kizewski.

If you see an elk, you can share pictures — whether they come from your phone or trail cameras — on the DNR’s wildlife observation website.

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