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Elk Herd in the Wichita Mountains

Elk Herd of Southwest Oklahoma by Barbara Vaupel
click picture to enlarge
Artist: Barbara Vaupel
Sponsor: Rep. Don McCorkle 
Dedication: March 5, 2003
Size: 8' x 5'
Type: Oil on Canvas
Location: South staircase, 5th floor, House wing 

Elk graze peacefully on a stretch of grassland bordered by the rising granite mountains of Southwest Oklahoma.

Elk originally indigenous to the Wichita Mountains area of Oklahoma were exterminated by the late 1800's. When the land which became the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge was set aside, no native elk remained.

In 1908, one bull elk of unknown origin was donated to the preserve by the city of Wichita, Kansas. In 1911 and 1912, additional elk were received from the National Elk Refuge herd.

Due to the success of these introductions, no further animals were brought into the herd and the elk now inhabiting the refuge and surrounding lands are descended from these original animals.

Images are copyright of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. and the artist.  Please contact Sandra Shelton at 521-5663 or for further copyright information.