Elk are formidable creatures who do their best to stay away from human beings. Yet every so often, our worlds collide. Two years ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Jared Lamb was conducting a population survey for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats when he saw an elk who’d gotten a little too close to civilization!

A full-size automobile tire was wrapped around the neck of the 2-year-old male elk! Officials believe he got the tire wrapped around his neck when he was younger before his antlers came in. They swiftly warned residents about the dangers of allowing dirt and rubbish to accumulate near their homes.

wildlife officials with tire they removed from elk's neck

After all, elk aren’t the only animals that become entangled, and it’s never simple to extricate them. A full-size automobile tire was wrapped around the neck of the 2-year-old male elk! Officials believe he got the tire wrapped around his neck when he was younger before his antlers came in.

They quickly warned locals about the dangers of keeping debris and trash around their properties; elk aren’t the only wildlife to become entangled, after all, and it’s never easy to free them.

wildlife officials remove elk's antlers

Two years after the first sighting, officials responded to a tip that the bull elk was with a herd of about 40 others on private property near Pine Junction. Over the course of the next week, they tried three times to tranquilize him but couldn’t quite manage it.

The fourth try was the charm! Wildlife Officer Dawson Swanson successfully tranquilized the elk, and Officer Scott Murdoch stepped in to remove the tire. With sedated animals, every second counts. When they couldn’t immediatelyIt was tight removing it,” Murdoch said in a statement.

“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.”

Colorado wildlife official removing tire from elk's neck

The good news is that removing the antlers has no negative impact on the animal. They were compelled to remove the elk’s antlers in order to pry it off his neck, and they will grow back next season.

It was a difficult task even without antlers. More good news: they noticed the tire was full of pine needles, dirt, and other moist stuff when they removed it. The tire and its contents are estimated to have added 35 pounds to the animal’s weight.

Colorado elk with tire around his neck

He probably felt light as a feather when he woke up! The officers examined the bull’s neck and found very little damage from the tire he’d been wearing for over two years. The 600-pound beast was revived and sent on his way, and the officers took a well-deserved victory lap.

“I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values our state’s wildlife resource,” Swanson said. Wildlife officials are asking people to remove human-made obstacles like swings, hammocks, clotheslines, tomato cages, and of course, tires from their yards. That seems like a small price to pay to live among such majestic animals!

By Lilit

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