United States: Elk had lived with a tire stuck around its neck for two years

the essential Rangers in the United States removed the tire that an elk had stuck around its neck for two years. Unable to cut the steel-filled tire, they had to remove the animal’s antlers.

An elk who had lived for two years with a heavy tire stuck around his neck has finally been freed of his burden by forest rangers, Colorado environmental officials said Monday. The impressive four-and-a-half-year-old male, estimated to weigh around 300 kg, was spotted on Saturday night in southwest Denver, a city in the west the United States.

“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave its antlers.”

After putting him to sleep, the officers had no choice but to cut his long antlers, which are renewed every year, in order to extract the tire. “We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave its antlers,” which is particularly useful during the rutting phase, “but the situation was changing rapidly and we just had to remove the tire by any means possible,” Scott Murdoch, a agents who participated in the operation. The rangers could not “cut the steel in the bead of the tire”, making the maneuver very difficult, he added.

Between the tire, the more than 4 kg of various debris that had accumulated there and the antlers, the officers estimated that the elk had lost nearly kg that night. “His hair was a bit disheveled,” and he had “a little sore,” but his neck was, surprisingly, in good condition, Murdoch said.

With a tire around my neck for 2 years

This intervention ended a saga that had lasted for two years. The elk and its tire were first sighted in July 2019. Over the years, the animal had been seen on several occasions, always weighted down with its load. Between May and June 2021, the forest guards tried to approach him four times, without success. The area being wild, the male was “difficult to find, and even more difficult to approach”.

The elk probably had the tire stuck around its neck “when it was very young” or “during the winter, when it loses its antlers,” according to Scott Murdoch. This happy ending mishap “underscores the need for residents to live responsibly with consideration for wildlife,” the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife recalled.

Residents are advised to ensure that their property “is free of obstacles in which animals can become entangled or injured” such as “volleyball nets and, yes, tires.”

Click here to see the photos of the intervention.

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