Elk herd to be thinned in Wind Cave National Park

File photo.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The National Park Service and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department are seeking skilled volunteers to help thin out the elk herd in Wind Cave National Park.

Officials say they hope the effort will reduce the rate of chronic wasting disease among the herd.

Eight volunteer shooters will be selected through a lottery system, to help park staff reduce the herd in February.

There are 260 elk in the park. Officials want the herd size closer to the low end of the population objective, which is 232 animals. Meat from elk that aren't infected with CWD will go to a hunger relief charity.

Park staff also recently fitted 24 elk in the park with GPS radio collars to help monitor for CWD.

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