SISTERS, Ore. – A total of 35 elk escaped from a private elk ranch in Sisters, Oregon Wednesday morning through fences that Oregon State Police (OSP) have determined were deliberately cut.
All 35 elk have been recovered and returned to the ranch, unharmed.
OSP are investigating the incident. Individuals with information are urged to contact Sergeant David Pond at (541) 388-6213.
Two fences, both cut, keep the elk inside the ranch boundaries. Of the 35 elk, 27 managed to escape through both fences, while eight were only able to get through the first fence before being captured and moved back into the interior of the facility.
The animals were recovered three quarters of a mile from the ranch and herded back by ranch staff, with the help of Steven George, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) district biologist. According to George, the elk were not likely to have interacted with any wild elk or domestic cattle while outside the ranch boundaries.
Oregon is home to several elk ranches that raise the animals for commercial purposes. The ODFW Commission recently organized an advisory group to review the state’s administrative rules governing elk ranching. The group will meet for the first time in April.