An elusive elk has been wandering the hills near Pine Junction southwest of Denver, Colorado, with a car tire around its neck for at least two years that has now finally been freed of the tire. Colorado Parks and Wildlife via AP
A 600-pound elk had a tire stuck on its neck for at least 2 years, Colorado wildlife officials said.
Wildlife officers tranquilized the bull elk on Saturday and successfully removed the tire.
Wildlife officer Dawson Swanson said the bull elk lost 35 pounds after the tire was removed.
A tire was stuck around the neck of a 600-pound elk in Denver, Colorado, for nearly half of its life, local Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said.
The bull elk, which was a little over four years old, had the tire wrapped around its neck for at least two years. On Saturday evening, wildlife officers had to cut the animal’s antlers off to remove the tire.
“It was tight removing it,” wildlife officer Scott 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.
“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible,” he continued, referring to elk mating season.
Wildlife officers attempted four times to catch and tranquilize the elk since May of this year “due to a number of factors, including the bull’s physical condition related to the rut, the tranquilizer effectiveness was minimized,” officer Dawson Swanson said, adding that the bull elk lost 35 pounds after the tire was removed.
“The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” Murdoch said. “So the pine needles, dirt, and other debris basically filled the entire bottom half of the tire. There was probably 10 pounds of debris in the tire.”
Murdoch said he was “quite shocked” at how few injuries the bull elk sustained with the tire around its neck.
“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,” he said.
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