It took more than two years after first spotted but a young bull elk is finally free of the tire hanging around its neck.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers Dawson Swanson and Scott Murdoch had to tranquilize the bull to saw off its antlers in order to remove the tire. It happened south of Pine Junction on private property in central Colorado about 40 miles southwest of Denver.
“It was tight removing it,” said Murdoch, even after cutting its antlers off. “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.”
Murdock and Swanson estimated the bull to be about four and a half years of age. Weighing more than 600 pounds, it had five points on each of its antler beams. They said the tire, and the debris in it including dirt and pine needles, weighed about 35 pounds total.
“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,” Murdoch said of the bull’s neck. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”
It was the fourth attempt wildlife officers had made in the last week to try to tranquilize this bull.
Go here to see June 2020 trail camera video of the elk with the tire stuck around its neck.
Go here to read the CPW news release about the incident.
Go here to see a series of photos showing officers removing the tire from the elk.
(Photo source: Pat Hemstreet/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)