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A $4,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the individual(s) who illegally killed a bull elk at the Nature Conservancy’s J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near Tahlequah.

elk-killed-at-nickelCommonly seen resting near the roadside greeting visitors, “Hollywood” a well-known, 8.5-year-old bull elk at The Nature Conservancy’s J.T. Nickel Preserve near Tahlequah, was illegally killed this weekend.

The Nature Conservancy is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of individual(s) responsible for poaching him. The Nature Conservancy’s reward is in addition to any reward offered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). Anyone with information about the incident, should immediately contact one of the following ODWC game wardens: Brady May: 918-431-2552, Tony Clark: 918-431-2562, or Cpt. Joe Adair: 918-431-2543.

“It was not uncommon to see ‘Hollywood’ on a daily basis,” said Jeremy Tubbs, Director of J.T. Nickel Preserve. “He was not just any elk, he was an elk that people looked for when visiting the preserve. He was commonly photographed by visitors, earning him the nickname Hollywood.”

While there is a legal hunting season for elk in Cherokee County, hunting is prohibited 365 days a year on the J.T. Nickel Preserve, which is privately owned by The Nature Conservancy.

The J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve is the largest privately protected conservation area in the Ozarks. The preserve was formed in 2000 as the result of a land gift from the John Nickel Family. This 17,000-acre landscape rests in eastern Oklahoma’s rolling Cookson Hills, overlooks the Illinois River and features a herd of elk that was re-introduced in 2005 after being absent from the Ozarks for more than 150 years.

Anyone wanting to donate to support elk habitat at the J.T. Nickel Preserve may do so by contacting The Nature Conservancy at 918-585-1117 or visiting nature.org/oklahoma.