Elk decimating corn crop at NM refuge

Posted at: 04/20/2013 12:51 PM
By: The Associated Press

BOSQUE DEL APACHE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, N.M. (AP) - Wildlife managers are being forced to kill some of the elk that have migrated to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge over the last two decades.

The reason: The animals are decimating the corn crop that feeds the southern New Mexico refuge's migratory birds.

As of Friday, 19 elk have been killed.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that refuge managers have tried other ways to mitigate the damage caused by the elk, including chasing the animals with vehicles and using pyrotechnics, motion lights and rubber bullets to scare them. Nothing has worked.

State game officials and refuge managers agree the herd needs to be thinned, but there's disagreement on who should kill the elk and when it should be done.

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