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News | Oct. 12, 2021

Bellwood Elk get annual checkup, new feeding trough

By Jimmy Parrish, chief, Environmental Management Division, DLA Installation Management Richmond

On any given day, the care of the Bellwood Elk housed on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, is always a top priority.
The month of September was no exception! The elk received their annual checkups Sept. 2 from large-animal veterinarian, Dr. Lucy Haile, with assistance from her staff members.

In addition to checkups, the three youngest elk were vaccinated and had identification tags placed on their ears to meet the requirements of Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources.

Haile said, all the elk look to be extremely healthy and well cared for.

September also saw upgrades to the facilities used to care for the elk.

DSCR’s fourteen female elk received a brand-new, state-of-the-art, solar-powered feeding trough.  The elk’s feed and grain is pre-loaded at the top of the trough and then automatically released to the trough’s feeding area at pre-set days and times.

“Our ladies love their food,” said Russell Ragin, a heavy equipment mechanic for DLA Installation Management Richmond, and one of the individuals responsible for caring for the elk. “This new machine allows us to easily control their diet, plus now they will always have food during long holiday weekends.” 

The elk herd is currently 24 in size with 10 bulls and 14 cows. You can learn more about the history of the Bellwood elk on DSCR by visiting their page.