His rescuers refused to give up on him ❤️
For over two years, an elk in Colorado has been carrying a literal weight around his neck. But thanks to some very determined wildlife officers, he’s finally free.
In 2019, a wildlife official spotted a young bull elk with a heavy tire draped around his neck during a sheep count in the Mount Evans wilderness. He knew it would be difficult to track the elk down and even harder to remove the tire.
“The further these elk are away from people, the wilder they act,” wildlife officer Scott Murdoch said in a press release. “That certainly played true the last couple of years. This elk was difficult to find and harder to get close to.”
After years of attempts to remove the tire, the perfect opportunity finally presented itself last Saturday night.
“I was able to quickly respond to a report from a local resident regarding a recent sighting of this bull elk in their neighborhood,” wildlife officer Dawson Swanson said in a press release. “I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk.”
Swanson got a clear shot of the 600-pound elk and was able to tranquilize him. Shortly after, Murdoch arrived ready to assist with the tire removal.
“It was tight removing it,” Murdoch said. “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.”
Swanson and Murdoch estimate that the elk dropped 35 pounds after the tire was removed. “The tire was full of wet pine needles and dirt,” Murdoch said. “There was probably 10 pounds of debris in the tire.”
Luckily, the tire hadn’t caused too much damage to the elk’s neck, and he’s expected to heal quickly. “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. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”
The elk is now back with his herd and feeling better than ever thanks to a few caring human neighbors.