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      Wildlife group to help introduce elk back into state

      JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri conservation officials will get help from the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation to return elk herds to the southern part of the state.

      The Missouri Conservation Commission decided in October to restore wild elk in a 346-square-mile protected zone in parts of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties. The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation plans to help develop a long-term conservation plan and raise at least $50,000. The money will go toward disease testing, radio collaring, initial monitoring and other expenses.

      Appalachian Wildlife Foundation works with several state agencies to help restore elk to a habitat.

      Elk were native to Missouri but were killed off in the mid-1800s. Some farmers have opposed introducing wild elk because of concerns about crop damage, vehicle accidents and other potential problems.

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