The state of Iowa continues to see a renaissance of wildlife. Mountain lion sightings are now almost commonplace. The occasional bear or wolf sighting also can't be ruled out. And now, trail cam photos and video confirm another large animal has made its way back to Iowa.

That large animal would be the elk. Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources told KCCI that they're getting reports of elk in Iowa nearly every week. The news comes either by social media or by the many trail cams set up in the Iowa timber. The DNR isn't sure where the elk are coming from, but are currently tracking them and trying to find out.

Shaun Rydl
Shaun Rydl

Elk used to be native to the state of Iowa, but now, DNR officials say that there are small herds in Minnesota, parts of Wisconsin, and in Missouri. But the larger herds are in the Black Hills of South Dakota and parts of central and western Nebraska. So where are the Iowa elk coming from? KCCI reports that the DNR says they are likely young elk looking for new territory or a herd to join. While most elks sighting in the state happen in Western Iowa, the DNR says there have also been sightings in Webster, Boone, Dallas, and Story counties.

Shaun Rydl told KCCI that he caught a young elk on his trail cam three times over a two-week period, and thought at first it was a joke. No joke. Elk are back in Iowa.

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