Wild elk has tire removed from neck after 2 years


Two years is too long to have a tire around your neck.

An elk in Colorado became famous among locals after it was spotted in 2019 with a tire stuck around its neck. Due to the animal’s movements and behavior, local officials were unable to capture him and remove the tire until this past weekend.

Wildlife officers Dawson Swanson and Scott Murdoch were able to tranquilize the bull on private property in Pine Junction on Saturday evening, according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife. The two officers had to cut the animal’s antlers off in order to remove the tire.

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Swanson said, “I am just grateful to be able to work in a community that values our state’s wildlife resource. I was able to quickly respond to a report from a local resident regarding a recent sighting of this bull elk in their neighborhood. I was able to locate the bull in question along with a herd of about 40 other elk.”

Wildlife officers Dawson Swanson and Scott Murdoch were able to tranquilize the bull on private property in Pine Junction on Saturday evening.

Wildlife officers Dawson Swanson and Scott Murdoch were able to tranquilize the bull on private property in Pine Junction on Saturday evening.
(Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

His partner, Murdoch, said, “It was tight removing it. 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.”

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The elk was first spotted in July 2019 in the Mount Evans Wilderness. The animal was spotted sporadically over the following months. Officers tried unsuccessfully to tranquilize the animal earlier this year.

“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,” Murdoch explained.

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The officers estimated that removing the tire, antlers and all of the debris that had gotten caught in the tire over the years had cut about 35 pounds from the elk.

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