Moose spends 2 years with a tire stuck in his neck begging for help

A bull elk in Colorado was finally freed from a tire that had been trapped around its neck for more than two years. Thanks to some wildlife officials this little animal was freed from the weight it was literally carrying.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers first spotted the 4-year-old elk, which weighs about 270 kilograms, during a wildlife survey in the Mount Evans Wilderness in July 2019.

Moose is freed from a tire he carried for more than two years

Since then, they made several attempts to capture the bull elk, but it always managed to evade officers. Scott Murdoch, wildlife officer commented on this:

“The farther these elk are away from people, the wilder they become. That certainly worked in recent years. This elk was hard to find and harder to get close to.”

After several years of tracking down the little animal, the perfect opportunity presented itself and they were finally able to capture it. Officers were able to bring the moose down with a tranquilizer dart and successfully remove the tire.

This was made possible by some people reporting seeing it in the Pine Junction area.

“I was able to quickly respond to a report from a local resident about a recent sighting of this male elk in his neighborhood. I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk,” said wildlife officer Dawson Swanson.

Swanson executed the shot and was able to tranquilize him, with Murdoch’s help he removed the tire.

“It was difficult to remove the tire. We had to move it properly to get it off because we couldn’t cut through the steel that was in the tire.”

Unfortunately, the officers had to remove the elk’s antlers in order to get the tire off over his head, a band of steel adhered to the tire and prevented the officers from being able to cut it.

Although they feared he had suffered some injury the elk was back on his feet only a few minutes later. Murdoch stressed:

“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for their rutting activity, but the situation was dramatic and we had to remove the tire any way we could.”

Moose use their antlers during the rut, engaging in a type of fight with their antlers to establish dominance over other males, thus earning the right to mate with females.

Fortunately, the males grow antlers each year before the mating season, although this elk will remain without a mate this season, he will have another chance next year.

It is possible that the elk may have gotten stuck in the tire when it was very young before it grew antlers, or during the winter after shedding them.

Officials believe that after removal the elk lost about 16 kilograms between its antlers and the tire, which was filled with pine needles and dirt adding additional weight.

Incredibly, the elk was not seriously injured considering the length of time it carried the tire around its neck, and upon removal they were surprised to find no significant damage. On this Murdoch commented:

“His coat was torn a little bit, there was a small open wound, maybe the size of a nickel or a quarter, but other than that, he looked pretty good. In fact, I was quite surprised to see how good it looked.”

We’re glad to hear that this elk returned to his herd without carrying that weight that weighed him down for so long. He is now feeling better than ever thanks to the incredible work of responsible neighbors and wildlife officers.

So many little animals get trapped in man-made items. We need to be aware and remember that we share a planet with wildlife that we must protect and respect. Taking care of it is everyone’s responsibility.

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