Colorado Elk has tire removed from neck after two years

What the buck?

An elk roamed around Colorado for at the minimum two years — nearly half its life — with a tire stuck around its neck before wildlife officials removed it, officials said.

The 4 1/2 year old, 600-pound bull elk was first spotted hoofing around the Mount Evans Wilderness with the unwanted accessory during a population survey in July 2019, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a press release.

Colorado Wildlife officers Scott Murdoch (left) and Dawson Swanson keep up the tire that was retained inside the bull elk’s neck for two years.
Courtesy of Pat Hemstreet
A trail camera captures the bull elk with a tire stuck on its neck on July 12, 2020.
Courtesy of Dan Jaynes near Conifer, Colorado

To help the rubber-choked critter, officials tranquilized it on private character in Pine Junction on Saturday evening then cut off its antlers to remove the tire.

“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,” officer Scott Murdoch said, adding it wasn’t possible to cut by steel in the bead of the tire.

Colorado Wildlife officers found the bull elk was resting on a pile of sticks before tranquilizing it.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife

“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 nevertheless had a little room to move,” he said.

Footage also shows the elk lugging around the tire last year before officials tried unsuccessfully to tranquilize the animal earlier this year.

The bull elk was first spotted by Colorado Wildlife officer Jared Lamb in July 2019.
Jared Lamb/Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Wildlife officials had to tranquilize the 600-pound bull elk to start removing the tire on its neck.
Courtesy of Pat Hemstreet
Colorado Wildlife officer Dawson Swanson uses a tool to cut by the tire on the bull elk’s neck.
Courtesy of Pat Hemstreet
Colorado Wildlife officer Dawson Swanson seen with the bull elk after the tire on its neck was removed.
Courtesy of Pat Hemstreet

Officials had no clue how the elk got the tire stuck around its neck.

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