Wildlife officials said that an elusive elk that had been walking around the mountains of Colorado for at least two years with a car tyre around its neck had been set free.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the male elk, which is four and a half years old and weighs 600 pounds, was tranquillized on Saturday evening after being seen near Pine Junction, southwest of Denver.
The police couldn’t cut through the steel in the tire’s bead, so they had to cut off the elk’s five-pointed antlers to get rid of the load.
“We would have preferred to cut the tyre and leave the antlers for his rutting activity,” officer Scott Murdoch said, “but we had to just get the tyre off in any way possible.”
Wildlife officials say that after two years, the tyre on the elk’s neck has finally been taken off. For at least two years, the elusive elk had been moving through the mountains of Colorado with a car tyre around its neck.
That elk (on the right) had been seen on surveillance video more than once, and the guards were afraid for its life, before the tyre was taken off.
Someone saw an elk in trouble walking through the woods with a tyre around its neck. When the tyre, antlers and other debris were taken away, Mr Murdoch and his partner officer, Dawson Swanson, estimated that the elk lost 35 pounds.
Murdoch said that the tyre was full of mud and wet pine needles. Basically, pine needles, mud and other things were all over the bottom part of the tyre. There was probably ten pounds of junk inside the tyre.
Wolf and wildlife officer Swanson said that they found the animal thanks to a tip from a nearby neighbour.
The man said, “I was able to respond quickly to a complaint from a nearby homeowner about seeing this bull elk recently in their area.” It was easy to find both the bull in question and a group of about 40 other elk.
Four times in the week before they were successful on Saturday, officers had tried to tranquillize the elk.
Wildlife officials first saw the elk with the tyre around its neck in July 2019, when they were counting the number of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness.
They say that deer, elk, moose, bears, and other animals have gotten stuck in swing sets, hammocks, clothes lines, holiday or decorative lights, furniture, tomato cages, chicken feeders, laundry baskets, football goals, and volleyball nets, among other things.
For help finding the elk last year, the group asked the public for information.
In the past, the group shared a video from one of their trail cameras that showed the animal walking through the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest with the tube around its neck.
Rangers said that the elk had been seen on surveillance cameras more than once, and they were afraid about its safety before they took off the tyre.
Jason Clay, a spokesperson for the CPW, told Fox 31 that rangers often find elk with things stuck to their antlers and necks.
Too often, we see it, whether it’s a tyre around its neck, Christmas lights, rope or a net stuck in it. “Unfortunately, that happens a lot here in Colorado,” he said.
People in general have also been warned not to try to take off the tyre themselves already.