After 2 Years, a Tire Is Removed From an Elk’s Neck in Colorado

14th October, 2021.      //   General Interest  // 

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For more than two years, residents of Pine, a small town about 30 miles southwest of Denver, have been sending in reports to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife authorities whenever they saw an elk that had somehow shoved its head through a tire.

The tire slid down the elk’s neck and became stuck there, locked into place as its antlers developed and branched out. Wildlife authorities wanted to remove the tire, and solicited the public’s help in locating the elk.

Wildlife officials had been seeking the elk since it was first spotted in 2019. On Saturday, they tranquilized the animal and slid the tire off after removing its antlers.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which is part of the state’s Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement on Monday that Mr. Swanson tranquilized the elk, which is 4 and a half years old and weighs 600 pounds. He and another wildlife officer then sheared off the elk’s antlers so the tire could be pulled over its head.

By Tuesday afternoon, the decision to cut off the antlers instead of cutting the tire had generated so much public interest that the agency shared an explanation on its social media accounts: A saw was unable to cut through the steel in the tire; the antlers will grow back, and the men were racing against the clock before the elk woke up.

The elk was tranquilized and wildlife officers used a saw to shear off its antlers so the tire could be removed.

The removal of the elk’s antlers also might make it less attractive to hunters, who would risk exposure to the tranquilizer in its system if it were used for its meat, Jason Clay, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman, said on Wednesday. “Removing antlers of wildlife caught up in things is actually quite common,” he added.

Wildlife officers had been looking for the elk since July 2019, when an officer spotted it as he was conducting a population survey of bighorn sheep and mountain goats in the Mount Evans Wilderness, a national forest area.

For two years, an elk was seen with a tire around its neck. Now, after several attempts, wildlife officials have freed the animal of the rubber hindrance.

 

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