The elk that had a rubber tire around its neck for two years has finally been released
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials, this was the fourth attempt to help the four-and-a-half-year-old elk, which weighs about 270 kg.
Officials said they had to temper the elk and cut its five-point antlers to remove the tire because they were unable to cut the steel in the rim of the tire.
“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the pods on for his rotting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we just had to remove the tire any way we could,” Officer Scott Murdoch told the agencies.
While officials estimated that the frame weighed around 16kg, surprisingly, the elk did not suffer any serious injuries. “The hair was rubbing a little bit, there was a small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or a quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” Murdoch told The Associated Press.
He added, “I was really shocked to see how good she looked.”
Officials were able to locate the elusive elk after residents near Pine Intersection, southwest of Denver, reported its location.
“I am just grateful to be able to serve in a community that values our state’s wildlife resources,” said Dawson Swanson, a fellow of Mr. Murdoch.
“I was able to respond quickly to a report from a local resident regarding a recent sighting of this bull in their area. I was able to locate the bull in question with a herd of about 40 other elk.”
Officials also said that due to cracking season, an elk was spotted along with a larger bull – making it easier to locate.
The elk was first spotted in 2019 in the Mount Evans wilderness during a demographic wildlife survey of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
Officials said that while these elk were released, wildlife such as deer, elk and bears often get entangled in a range of other objects such as swing sets, hammocks, clothesline and volleyball nets.