You know those commercials that show how horrible it is for animals and aquatic creatures who encounter trash in the ocean? I mean the images of turtles with plastic straws jammed up their noses, or whales being trapped in fishing nets are just awful. Really, really horrible. But then, there are those stories that show these helpless animals being rescued by some kindly human who just wants to do the right thing. It certainly makes you think more about what we are doing to our environment, and the effects it has on animals.

So whenever I find a story like this that has a good outcome, I always want to pass it along. And this is one of those stories, thanks to our friends at Whiskey Riff.

 

 

About two years ago Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials were alerted to a bull elk that had a tire wrapped around it's neck. Removing it was a priority for the agency, of course, but catching the elk proved to be more difficult than they imagined. They estimated that the 600 lb elk was around two and a half years old at the time. And according to Scott Murdoch, a wildlife officer with CPW, the terrain he was spotted in was extremely rugged, and it was hard to track him. Even with a tire wrapped around his neck.

Last year the elk had been spotted on trail cams on three separate occasions, and state wildlife officials tried many times to catch the magnificent animal, to no avail. A statement from officials via Whiskey Riff said “Being up in the wilderness, we didn’t really expect to be able to get our hands on the elk just because of the proximity or the distance away from civilization. It is harder to get the further they are back in there.”

 

 

 

And earlier this week the elk was finally caught, tranquilized, and the tire around his neck removed after two long years. Officer Murdoch and his colleague Danson Swanson were not able to cut through the tire because of the steel bead inside, so they had to cut the antlers off the elk. They then remove the tire by easing it over his head. Complicating matters, there was about 10 lbs of debris inside the tire, which made it even more of a drastic situation to get it removed. The officers say that with the removal of the tire, and the debris, the elk lost about 35 lbs in one day. And the good news is, he seems to be in overall good health, and ready to go back out into the wild.

Wildlife officials told Whiskey Riff that this incident is "an excellent reminder to keep your yards free of items that could be potentially hazardous to wildlife when you’re not actively using them."

 

 

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