The agency said Monday the elk died last month in a quarantine pen in Jackson County. The dead elk included one adult cow, which carried an unborn calf, and four yearlings.
The DNR says the animals died of a disease caused by parasites spread by ticks, including the deer tick.
State wildlife officials presume the elk were bitten by ticks after their arrival in Wisconsin. The dead animals were part of a shipment of 26 elk brought to Wisconsin in late March as part of a reintroduction effort.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the elk are being held until they complete a quarantine, probably in early June.