Wildlife officials in Colorado have successfully freed a bull elk from a heavy tire that had been on his neck for two years. As reported by CNN News, wildlife officials were aware of the burdened elk, but until recently, they had not been able to get close enough to help.
According to a Colorado Parks & Wildlife release, on Saturday, officers were able to tranquilize the bull elk, cut his antlers, and remove the heavy tire from his neck. Wildlife officer Dawson Swanson said:
“I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values out state’s wildlife resource. I was able to quickly respond to a report from a local resident regarding a recent sighting of this bull elk in their neighborhood. I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk.”
Officer Scott Murdoch stated:
“It was tight removing it,” Murdoch said of pulling the tire off the bull’s neck, even after cutting its antlers off. “It was not easy for sure, we had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire. Fortunately, the bull’s neck still had a little room to move.
Surprisingly, the elk’s neck was in good condition despite the tire being on his body for so long. The first time the tire was discovered around the elk’s neck was back in July 2019.
The saga of this bull elk highlights the need for residents to live responsibly with wildlife in mind. That includes keeping your property free of obstacles that wildlife can get tangled in or injured by. Wildlife officers have seen deer, elk, moose, bears and other wildlife become entangled in a number of man-made obstacles that include swing sets, hammocks, clothing lines, decorative or holiday lighting, furniture, tomato cages, chicken feeders, laundry baskets, soccer goals or volleyball nets, and yes, tires.
This elk would have gotten the tire around its antlers either when it was very young, before it had antlers, or during the winter when it shed its antlers. It could have been a big stack of tires that the elk stuck its head in, wildlife officers have also seen it where people feed animals who come in and put their heads in things that they then walk away with.
CPW recommends that if you see wildlife entangled in something or with debris wrapped around it, that you report it immediately to wildlife officials. That can be accomplished by calling CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227.
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