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Officials probe elk death in NC mountain park

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CATALOOCHEE, N.C. — Rangers in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park say they expect to charge a man with killing an elk.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that a bull was found dead at the edge of a pasture in Cataloochee Valley on Friday.

Officials say someone wrote down a vehicle tag number and they are investigating a Granville County man. His name has not been released because no charges have been filed. Park spokesman Bob Miller said Monday the man said he shot the elk.

Elk had been common in the region until they were wiped out by hunting and habitat loss in the early 19th century. The park reintroduced 25 elk to the valley in 2001. The herd has since grown to about 100 and has become a popular park attraction.

A person convicted of poaching in a national park can face jail time and fines.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Rangers in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park say they expect to charge a man with killing an elk.

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Associated poll

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