Wildlife officials in Colorado have made one of the best announcements of this year.
In a recent statement that they released, they confirmed that an elk who had a tire stuck around its neck for 2 years is now officially free.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife said:
The four-and-a-half-year-old, 270kg (600lb) bull elk was spotted near Pine Junction, south-west of Denver, on Saturday evening and tranquilized.
It was the fourth attempt wildlife officers made in just 1 week to capture and help the elk out.
Officers with the agency captured it successfully, cut off the elk’s five-point antlers to remove the tire because it could not slice through the steel in the bead of the tire.
Officer Scott Murdoch said:
We would have preferred to cut the tyre and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tyre off in any way possible.
Officer Murdoch and officer Dawson Swanson believe that the elk was freed of about 16kg (35lb) with the removal of the tire, the antlers and debris inside the tire.
I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values our 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 neighbourhood. I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk.
The rescuers of the animal said that it was a surprise for them that its neck was in good condition after 2 years of chafing.
The hair was rubbed off a little bit, there was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good. I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.
Murdoch also pointed that the rutting season played a huge role in helping the police officers to find the elk.
The rut definitely made him more visible. There was a bigger bull in the group he was with on Saturday, but he is getting to be a decent size bull.
Wildlife officers first spotted the elk in July of 2019 while carrying out a population survey for Rock Mounty bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans wilderness.