WHITMAN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s elk population dropped to 22 after two elk collided with an ambulance.

News outlets report a calf and an elk died after they jumped over the median on U.S. 119 and collided with an ambulance Monday morning. No patients were in the ambulance and the two ambulance personnel were unharmed.

24 elk were reintroduced into the state in December, marking the first time the animal could be seen in the state since 1875.

Randy Kelley with the state Division of Natural Resources urged drivers to be mindful of their speed and be aware of animal crossings, but says accidents are unavoidable.

Up to 60 more elk could be introduced to the state next spring.

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