October 26, 2016 12:12 PM EDT

A wild elk has been spotted in South Carolina for the first time in 275 years, officials say.

The bull elk was likely kicked out of a re-established herd by dominant males in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, USA Today reports.

“If you had settled in South Carolina back in the late 1600s you would have had an abundance of elk,” said Carl Walsh, president of the South Carolina chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. “But our forefather shot them all out for clothing or food.”

Walsh says he hopes the bull will bring a female back to South Carolina to repopulate the region.

[USA Today]

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