For the first time since the Upstate was Cherokee territory, a wild elk has been seen roaming the woodlands of South Carolina.

Northern Pickens County is abuzz with sightings of the bull elk, whose wanderings are being traced on social media.

It’s not a descendent of species that once inhabited this area, but more likely a young bull elk that was ousted by the dominant males of a herd of Rocky Mountain elk that have been re-established in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to outdoorsman and Pickens County resident Dennis Chastain.

“This is a historic moment that some of us knew would eventually come,” Chastain said. “This is the first wild elk to roam the woods and wild places in South Carolina since they disappeared in the early 1700's.”

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